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In 1930, new dental products were arising, as well as extravagant claims about what they could do. The American Dental Association (ADA) took it upon themselves to adopt guidelines to evaluate dental products for safety and effectiveness. The ADA Seal of Acceptance program began in 1931, when the first ADA Seal of Acceptance was awarded. President Ronald Reagan awarded the Association a certificate of commendation in 1984. Today, more than 300 dental products carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, including toothpaste, manual and electronic toothbrushes, dental flosses, and mouthwash.

When you see the ADA Seal of Acceptance on a dental product, you can trust that it is safe and effective. You can also trust that the product does what it says. Not every product that applies for the seal is accepted. Certain requirements must be met. The application process the company must follow includes tasks like:

• Conduct clinical trials that are in accordance with ADA guidelines and procedures.
• Show that their manufacturing and laboratory facilities are supervised properly and that they provide purity and uniformity of the product.
• Show that the product is made in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices.

Once a product earns the ADA Seal of Acceptance, the process is not over. The ADA Seal is only awarded for a five-year period. At the end of this time, the company must reapply for the ADA Seal. If the company changes the product in any way, they must reapply for the ADA Seal.

The next time you are shopping for toothpaste or mouthwash, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. It’s like having your dentist shop with you!