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.
Image showing the ADA product search features on their website

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.
Image showing the power toothbrushes listed on theADA product search website

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.
Company Brush/Series Name/Year Features ADA Seal of Approval* Mode of Action Apps
P&G Oral-B® iO™ Series 2020 Linear 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
Yes Oscillating-Rotation + Micro-vibrations Icon for Oral-B iO mobile app
P&G Oral-B® Genius Series 2016 Pressure 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 options Yes Oscillating-Rotating-Pulsating Icon for Oral-B iO mobile app
WaterPik® Sonic-Fusion® 2019 3 modes, Brush becomes a jet tip for water flossing; 2-minute timer, 30 second pacer; Advanced pressure control; Recharge indicator light; Premium toothbrush case Yes Sonic/Water Flosser None
Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Smart 2017 4-5 different modes, 3 intensities; 3 premium brush heads; 4 colors; Stylish glass charger and premium travel case with USB charger; Bluetooth; Smart Sensor Technology No Sonic Icon for Philips Sonicare mobile app
Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 2018 Subscription of handles and brush heads available; 1-3 different modes, 3 intensities; Built-in pressure sensor; 1 brush head; BrushSync features; Travel case Yes Sonic Icon for Philips Sonicare mobile app
Colgate® Plaqless Pro (Coming Soon)* Optic Sensor Technology; Detects biofilm buildup; Coaches in real time; Bluetooth Information Not Available Information Not Available Icon for Colgate mobile app
Quip Quip 2015 Starter Kit; Refill Plans including brush heads, toothpaste, floss; - minute timer; Suction Mirror Mount/Travel Cover; AAA battery Yes Sonic Vibrations None
*As of July 2020