The American Dental Association (ADA) is a non-profit organization which evaluates dental products that havae been around for over 125 years, making sure that dental products are safe and effective. The ADA essentially protects consumers by making sure quality products with accurate advertising are released on the market.
While the ADA is not paid for their endorsement, they are free to set standards for the dental industry and often ask companies submitting products and technologies for review to meet higher standards than required by law. When the ADA puts its Seal of Acceptance on a product, consumers can know that the product a) does not include false advertising b) the product is safe and c) the product works. Over 300 dental products now carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, products including mouthwashes, dental floss, toothpaste and toothbrushes.
So how does this work? How does the ADA determine that a product qualifies for its Seal? According to the ADA the following criteria applies:
First, the company requesting approval for the Seal must provide a list of ingredients and other applicable information about the product to be reviewed and approved.
Second, the company has to provide data from clinical or laboratory studies backing up claims for product safety, effectiveness, and any claims the company will make promoting the product.
Third, the company will need to conduct clinical trials in strict compliance with the guidelines and procedures provided by the ADA.
Fourth, the company has to supply evidence of proper supervision of the manufacturing and laboratory space used to provide purity and uniformity of the product. It also has to show that the product is manufactured in compliance with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices).
And lastly, the company has to give the ADA all of the product packaging and labeling so it can be reviewed and approved. The product must also comply with ADA standards for accuracy and truthfulness in advertising.
After the product receives the Seal of Acceptance, it must also provide a Seal Statement on the product label and on any advertising pertaining to it. The Seal Statement lets the consumer know precisely why the product was accepted by the ADA.
As an example, this ADA Seal Statement is found on the Save-A-Tooth product which is an emergency tooth preserving system:
“The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs’ Acceptance of Save-A-Tooth is based on its finding that the solution in Save-A-Tooth has been shown to increase the survival rate of a knocked-out-tooth, when used as directed. Although data show that the solution is effective up to 24 hours, the survival rate is highest if the knocked-out-tooth is implanted by a dentist within one hour.”
After a product earns the Seal of Acceptance, it is allowed to keep the label for five years. For a product to continue using the Seal, the company must reapply and requalify again. As you can see, the Seal is the standard bearer of advertising accuracy and the safety and effectiveness of a product!
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