The Australian Dental Association Inc. (ADA) has now completed a thorough review of its Seal of Approval program. The process has been protracted but it has been designed to create a symbol that will assist the public to recognise products that hold the ADA Seal of Approval are safe, efficient and that advertising claims made have been substantiated by the protocols undertaken to achieve the Seal of Approval.
The ADA Seal of Approval program applies to a broader category of product to that which existed previously. It now applies to all over- the- counter products that have an oral health benefit.
The objectives of the programme are to recognise products of suitable quality and, after assessment by an expert panel, to offer to the general public assurances of safety and efficacy of the products that hold the Seal of Approval.
The products that hold the Seal of Approval are tested for conformity with the appropriate International or Australian Standard and evidence of safety and efficacy must be produced. Claims made on labelling are examined and there must be evidence to substantiate these claims.
Advertising Guidelines have been written with which products that hold the Seal of Approval must comply. These Guidelines impose rigorous requirements on holders of the Seal of Approval to ensure that all claims made in the advertising are:
- Scientifically accurate and in accord with laboratory and clinical test
- Products are positioned as only one of any total oral health program;
- The dental profession is not portrayed as promoting or endorsing any
commercial product other than the safety and efficacy implicit in the
At the present time, products considered for the ADA Seal of Approval include toothbrushes, toothpastes and mouthwashes. The products are tested for conformity with the appropriate International or Australian Standard and evidence of safety and efficacy must be produced. Claims made on labelling are examined and there must be evidence for these claims. In the case of mouthwashes, additional evidence is required to support an application for Seal of Approval and specific independent clinical trials are essential. Similarly, toothpastes that contain fluoride and sugar free chewing gums will be required to meet additional guidelines.
For a listing of products refer to: Seal of Approval Listing
As part of the additional rigour now included in the ADA Seal of Approval program, products that obtain the Seal of Approval will, each three years, be required to undergo a review of the product by the Seal of Approval expert panel to ensure the ability to retain the Seal of Approval.
The Seal of Approval Program is not designed to be income generating other than that required to cover costs. The Seal of Approval is not ’sold‘. Application fees provide for initial assessment of the product and are kept to a minimum. Annual licencing fees and renewal fees each three years are applicable and allow for ongoing assessment of the product and its advertising material. Fees remain at the previous level that existed. This is consistent with the philosophy of this program being non-profit.
For full guidelines refer to: Seal of Approval Guidelines
Chief Executive Officer