The ADA Seal of Acceptance: Why is it important?

The small, often grass-green ADA Seal of Acceptance actually means something. It’s not a fake mark. And it can’t be bought. But it can be earned by companies who are willing to voluntarily submit scientific data that documents the ingredients, claims, and benefits of their commercial dental products for review against the rigorous scientific standards enacted and endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Since 1931 when the first Seal of Acceptance was awarded, the ADA’s team of experts in biology, chemistry, medicine, pharmacology, and dental science, convene regularly to review the scientific evidence of various dental product submissions to determine whether these products are both safe and effective and thus, merit the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Together these experts closely review ingredients lists; thoroughly evaluate the accuracy of the results derived from clinical studies; explore manufacturing practices for the likelihood of production variability; and study packaging and labeling details for communication accuracy in order to decide whether a particular dental product qualifies for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. And if the review team needs more information to aid the decision-making process, the ADA is unafraid to request it from a manufacturer. This rigorous, but fair-minded process ensures that every dental product that wears the ADA Seal of Acceptance has been carefully evaluated by the ADA’s team of experts for its safety and effectiveness.

Currently, the Seal of Acceptance can be found on over 300 dental products, including toothpaste, manual and electric toothbrushes, dental floss, mouthrinse, interdental teeth cleaners, and denture-related products. But there are a few atypical products on the list too: sugar free chewing gum, a sports mouthguard, and a few options for temporary pain relief. You can find the full dental product list here.

Finally, the Seal of Acceptance, upon issuance, is valid for a period of five years. Thereafter, a company can choose to continue in this iterative but important process by resubmitting their dental products for ADA review and approval. However, if a company makes a change to a dental product previously approved by the ADA, the process to qualify for the Seal voluntarily begins anew.

So look for the small, often grass-green, square ADA Seal of Acceptance–see it here–the next time you need to buy a special dental product and purchase it with confidence knowing that the product has been deemed both “safe and effective” for your family and you by the American Dental Association. Now that should make you smile!

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