Using an Evidence-based Approach to Making Patient Recommendations for Power Toothbrushes

Course Number: 648

ADA Seal of Acceptance

Another characteristic that many consider important in making recommendations is if the product has the ADA Seal of Approval. Keep in mind the ADA Seal Program is voluntary.

As per a 2017 national survey of consumers, the results indicated that 2 out of 3 consumers reported the ADA Seal on a product simplifies their purchasing decision, 71% would choose a Seal product over a similar product without a Seal, and 69% say they would pay more for a product that displays the ADA Seal. The Seal represents a symbol of safety and efficacy and it takes the guesswork out of purchasing.

To obtain the ADA Seal of Acceptance for a power toothbrush, certain criteria must be met. A company must submit safety testing certifications, provide claims of safety and efficacy, and instructions for use. A safety standard, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ADA standard No 120, must also be satisfied for approval. Although not mandatory, clinical studies may be provided for consideration.

The ADA Seal program makes it easy to search for different products. Go to their website, identify the type of product, and click on it (Figure 10).

Figure 10. ADA Seal Product Search.

In our case, we want information on power toothbrushes so click on Toothbrush – Powered under the Toothbrushes category (Figure 11).

Figure 11. ADA Seal Product Search, Toothbrush - Powered.

Also, clicking on the toothbrush name provides you with more information and identifies the brushes that have been accepted. All products within the power toothbrush category have the following statement: “The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs’ Acceptance of ______ is based on its finding that the product is safe and has shown efficacy in removing plaque and helping to prevent and reduce gingivitis, when used as directed."

Unlike the approval for powered toothbrushes, the Waterpik® Sonic-Fusion® Toothbrush/Flosser received the ADA Seal of Acceptance in the Powered Interdental Cleaners category, not Toothbrush-Powered category. As per the ADA Seal statement, “The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs’ Acceptance of Waterpik Sonic-Fusion Toothbrush/Flosser is based on its finding that the product is safe and has shown efficacy for removing plaque along the gumline and between teeth and helping to prevent or reduce gingivitis, when used as directed.” This statement is provided for all the products that have been accepted in this category.

Table 3. Summary of Electric Toothbrush Features – Most Recent Models.

CompanyBrush/Series Name/YearFeaturesADA Seal of Approval*Mode of ActionApps
P&GOral-B iO™ Series 2020Linear magnetic drive; Smart pressure sensor (alerting pressure both too hard and just right) Smart display-real time personalized coaching.
Up to 7 Brushing Modes; 3D Teeth Tracking and AI Brushing Recognition; Bluetooth; Magnetic charger; 2 brush heads Power2Go Charging Travel Case
YesOscillating-Rotation + Micro-vibrationsIcon for Oral-B iO mobile app
P&GOral-B Genius Series 2016Pressure Sensor; Position detection; 360 SmartRing; 2-minute brushing timer; 5-6 Brushing Modes; Position detection; AI Smart Coaching; Bluetooth; USB Charging Case; 6 Brush heads available; 2 specialty heads; 3 brush heads with subscription refill optionsYesOscillating-Rotating-PulsatingIcon for Oral-B iO mobile app
WaterPik®Sonic-Fusion 20193 modes, Brush becomes a jet tip for water flossing; 2-minute timer, 30 second pacer; Advanced pressure control; Recharge indicator light; Premium toothbrush caseYesSonic/Water FlosserNone
Philips SonicareDiamond Clean Smart 20174-5 different modes, 3 intensities; 3 premium brush heads; 4 colors; Stylish glass charger and premium travel case with USB charger; Bluetooth; Smart Sensor TechnologyNoSonicIcon for Philips Sonicare mobile app
Philips SonicareProtective Clean 2018Subscription of handles and brush heads available; 1-3 different modes, 3 intensities; Built-in pressure sensor; 1 brush head; BrushSync features; Travel caseYesSonicIcon for Philips Sonicare mobile app
Colgate®Plaqless Pro *Optic Sensor Technology; Detects biofilm buildup; Coaches in real time; BluetoothInformation Not AvailableInformation Not AvailableIcon for Colgate mobile app
QuipQuip 2015Starter Kit; Refill Plans including brush heads, toothpaste, floss; - minute timer; Suction Mirror Mount/Travel Cover; AAA batteryYesSonic VibrationsNone

*As of July 2020