You care about your smile and your teeth, and you want to use the right products to keep them healthy. But with so many oral care products available today, how do you know which to use? Learn how to evaluate your products before you purchase them.
Specific organizations evaluate oral care products and award a seal of approval.
The seal guarantees a product was tested and clinically proven.
The seal helps dental professionals and consumers make product choices with confidence.
Advertisements sometimes seem too good to be true. Plus, the info on the internet can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are ways to check your dental products. Many dental products have a seal of approval on the label. Let’s discuss the importance of this seal.
The seal of approval
Specific organizations evaluate oral care products and award a seal of approval. This seal is displayed right on the box or package of the product. It can be found in many types of products. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouth rinse, interdental flossers, whitening products, and much more can have this seal. And chances are, you have products in your bathroom with this seal. But the seal is optional. So, why do these companies go through the trouble of getting this seal on their product?
What the seal guarantees
These seals guarantee the product was tested and clinically proven. It is a rigorous process for the product. The product must meet or exceed several qualifications before the seal is awarded. These test check things like:
- Scientific evidence
Having a seal of approval is optional. A company can choose whether they want their products evaluated. The seal of approval offers some assurance to buyers.
How does a product get approved?
There are several steps in the process. Each organization may have slight differences in their approval process, but here are a few steps that are common:
- Application. Each product must have an application filed for it. Some organizations only accept applications during a specific time frame.
- Fee. Although participation is optional, companies must pay a fee for each product application. This fee helps cover the costs associated with product testing and evaluation.
- Evaluation. This is when the product is tested, and scientific evidence is verified. There are multiple steps in this process and the product must pass each one. If a product fails any part of the evaluation, it will not receive the seal of approval.
- Approval. Once the product is approved, there are licensing agreements and other paperwork that is filed for the company to start using the seal.
- Renewal. Seals are awarded for specific time frames. This can vary from 2–5 years. This ensures the products maintain compliance with the strict guidelines.
What organizations offer a seal of approval?
In most countries, the dental governing body awards the seal. In the US, it is the American Dental Association (ADA). In Canada, the Canadian Dental Association sets the standards for the seal. There are other programs that offer a seal of approval.
The Oral Health Foundation has an independent panel of internationally recognized dental experts who evaluate products. According to dentalhealth.org, there are more than 150 approved products in 60 countries around the world that have the Oral Health Approval logo on their label. These products have all been evaluated and passed the standards set by this foundation.
With most, if not all, organizations, these seals are backed by scientific evidence, so you can be sure these products do what they claim.
Why does this seal matter?
A seal is a visual assurance to buyers. It assures consumers of the strict testing a product must pass. Not all submitted products are approved. The seal is a small guarantee that the product does what it claims. And let’s face it, we all like a guarantee.
Many dental professionals rely on the seal when recommending products to patients. With so many products available today, it is hard for an individual dental care provider to try them all, and without a science lab, how can they prove it really is beneficial? That is what the seal does. The organizations that offer these seals do all that work for the dental team. This helps dentists and hygienists make recommendations with confidence.
Are products without a seal effective?
Many oral care products do not have a seal of approval. These products can still be effective and beneficial in an oral care routine. They may very well do what they claim, but there is no valid way to verify the product claims. Products with a seal have the assurance from a dental association or other organization that the product’s claims are valid and backed with scientific evidence. The seal is one way to ensure the products you choose will benefit your health.
Choosing the right dental care products can be stressful. We live in a time of information overload. How do you know what products do what it claims? How can we be certain it is safe? Has it been tested? Is it backed by science? Luckily, all these questions and many more are answered right on the label. Choosing dental products with a seal of approval can give you confidence in choosing the right products to keep your smile healthy and happy.
- Oral Health Foundation. Better Oral Health for All.