For more than 125 years, the ADA has promoted safety and efficacy of dental products. This is part of its mission to advance oral health. As early as 1866, an ADA committee prepared a statement on dentifrices (toothpaste) that questioned whether the extravagant claims made on behalf of patient tooth powders and other dental nostrums of the time were just “an imposition on the public”. The end result was a simple formula for a tooth powder made from chalk, soap and various herbal ingredients. Of course this was years before anyone knew about the benefits of adding fluoride to toothpaste to prevent cavities.
By 1930, consumers were still confronted by extravagant claims about what dental products could do. That year the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs adopted guidelines to evaluate these products for safety and efficacy. The first Seal of Acceptance was awarded in 1931. In 1984, President Reagan gave the Association a certificate of commendation for the outstanding self-regulatory efforts of its Seal program.
Today, more than 200 over-the-counter dental products sold to consumers carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Participating companies commit significant resources to test and market products in the Seal program. These products can be used with assurance that they have demonstrated safety and efficacy according to ADA requirements.