Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tipping the Scales: 8 evidence-based actions to improve Australians' poor diet and excess weight issue

On 19 September 2017 more than 30 leading community, public health, medical and academic groups united for the first time to call for urgent Federal Government action to address Australia’s serious obesity problem.

The ADA, including the ADAVB, are proud to back this action and the newly launched Tipping the Scales report through our partnership with Rethink Sugary Drink.

The Tipping the Scales report identifies eight practical, evidence-based actions the Australian Federal Government must take to reduce the enormous strain excess weight and poor diets are having on the nation’s physical and economic health:

1. Time-based restrictions on TV junk food advertising to kids
2. Set clear food reformulation targets
3. Make the Health Star Rating mandatory by July 2019
4. Develop a national active transport strategy
5. Fund weight-related public education campaigns
6. Introduce a 20% health levy on sugary drinks
7. Establish a national obesity taskforce
8. Develop and monitor national diet, physical activity and weight guidelines.

Join the call for action by sharing the infographic on social media with the hashtag #TippingTheScales.

Find out more:
Obesity coalition website
Tipping the Scales report (PDF)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

R U OK? Know where to reach out when you need help.

R U OK? Day is a great reminder that we all could use some help sometimes. Whether you need support for a personal or health issue, or assistance with a work matter, knowing where you can turn makes life so much simpler.

ADAVB can support you in a number of ways, including through our:
  • Member assistance service for personal and private counselling on family/life and workplace matters (ph: 1300 361 008) 
  • HR advisory service and hotline for help with industrial issues (ph: 1300 232 462) 
  • Professional consultants for advice on professional and compliance matters, and Community Relations Officers who are on hand every day to offer dispute assistance – for members insured under the Branch Indemnity Scheme (ph: 8825 4600). 
Help is only a phone call away for members. And for more support, there are many publicly available options available, such as:
Keep these contacts handy, and remind your friends and colleagues of them. Help is available for you every day of the year. R U OK? Day is the perfect opportunity to learn where to get it.

For further information on any of the ADAVB member services, please call us on 8825 4600.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Resources and CPD hours for members during Dementia Awareness Month

September is Dementia Awareness Month. It's important that we have a better understanding of what it is like for a person to live with dementia so let's all help raise awareness during #Dementia2017. Access to services and information, including dental care, is vital for people impacted by dementia (including their carers).

There are more than 89,000 people living with dementia in residential aged care. People with moderate-severe dementia often have swallowing difficulties which can increase the risk of aspiration pneumonia. Therefore appropriate, preventive dental health care is critical.

Clinical update - your free CPD hour

Are you an ADAVB member? Log into our website and access our Clinical Update September edition which looks at a study about aspiration pneumonia and swallowing disorder in elderly nursing home residents. Complete and pass the quiz and get your free CPD hour!

ADA resources - CPD Portal

Partnership in Practising Care is a series of educational tools to support dentists treating patients with dementia and was funded by Alzheimer’s Australia. The series emphasises the importance of continuity of care, using preventative dentistry and ensuring the patient with dementia has the best possible quality of life. Use your federal ADA login to access modules such as:

Dementia Awareness Month

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Women's Health Week - Women and dental health

During Women’s Health Week (4-8 September) the ADAVB is encouraging women to make seeing their dentist a priority. Often, dental health is overlooked in terms of importance, however poor dental health can have a huge effect on our overall health.

The ADAVB is also encouraging women to speak to their dentist and to seek information on how to protect their teeth and gums during periods of hormonal change, such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

Recent ADA research findings released for Dental Health Week in August, showed that 65% of Australians hadn’t visited the dentist in 6 months1. The Australian Women and Dental Survey in 2016 found that two thirds (67.1%)2 of Australian teenage girls going through puberty don’t regularly visit the dentist.

A Jean Hailes research study launched this week found that the health condition women were most concerned about was menopause3. The ADA study found that of those entering menopause, almost half (48.9%) have experienced signs of gum disease including sensitive teeth (26.9%) and dry mouth (14.4%)2, yet 70% admitted they do not visit the dentist every six months. The study also found that over half of women surveyed avoided a visit to the dentist during pregnancy.

Dr Susan Wise, President ADAVB, said,

“Contrary to myths about dental work during pregnancy, it is very important to visit the dentist during pregnancy, as hormone changes can make gums more prone to bleeding, swelling and inflammation. These conditions can lead to an increased risk of gum disease, and in severe cases, can cause tooth loss.

Dry mouth and gum disease are common dental health issues in women going through menopause and these can be avoided or better managed through regular visits to your dentist and by following their advice to better manage your condition.”


1. APMI Partners, Australian Dental Health Study, December 2016.

2. Australian Women’s Oral Health Survey, March 2015, conducted by Pure Profile commissioned by the Australian Dental Association.

3. Jean Hailes Women’s Health Survey 2017.

Further information

ADA website:

Find a dentist

Dental health and menopause

Dental health and pregnancy

Jean Hailes Foundation:

Women's Health Week

Friday, August 25, 2017

Last day to register! Take an active role with the ADAVB and our closely linked charities

Last day to register! Catch up with colleagues, enjoy refreshments and learn about opportunities to take an active role with the ADAVB and closely linked charities at our Volunteer Information Night on Monday 4 September, 6.30pm - 8.30pm.

Presentations will include how to get involved with:

  • ADAVB Sports and Social Committee 
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • eviDent Foundation
  • National Dental Foundation
  • Australian Dental Health Foundation
Download event flyer

Register online

To register please contact  Lisa Legge today on 8825 4601 or email:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Do you want to better manage patients’ cosmetic concerns and align expectations?

Did you know that an estimated 15% of patients presenting for cosmetic procedures suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)? Patients with symptoms of BDD are more likely to be dissatisfied with the outcome and pursue further treatment.

The eviDent Foundation has teamed up with The University of Melbourne to conduct vital research into this alarming trend, with the aim of identifying patients with increased symptoms of BDD before irreversible prosthodontic or cosmetic treatment is carried out. Identifying these patients and recognising their expectations could lead to better treatment outcomes – and reduce the likelihood of future litigation!

You can take part in this critical research! Participants in the BDD Project can be any practising general dentist or prosthodontists who have an interest in cosmetic dentistry or prosthodontics.

With your help, the BDD Project’s research findings will lead directly to improving treatments for your patients by:
  • Raising awareness of the meaning and implications of BDD 
  • Training dental practitioners to have a conversation with their patients about BDD or other mental health issues 
  • Validating a questionnaire for clinicians to identify patients who present with BDD symptoms 
  • Improving collaborations between dental practitioners and community psychologists 
  • Developing collaboration and referral pathways between health professions to better case for patients with BDD.
Register your interest by calling Dr Carolina Perez Rodriguez on 03 9035 8402 or emailing

Learn more about the project.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Handing out energy drinks at kids' sport is a load of Red Bull

One of the simple pleasures of being a parent (depending on your point of view) is spending the weekend experiencing the careers of others under the guise of children's sport. Get the taxi ready to ferry kids back and forth to the venue, play the role of a medic with ice-pack and Band-Aids on hand, coach and cater (those oranges don't slice themselves).
I don't expect to have to play the role of public health advocate. I want my children to play sport in an environment free from the food politics that inhabits much of my own professional life.
So, imagine my disgust to see the relative serenity of the local soccer match ambushed by a couple of young people handing out free drinks high in sugar and caffeine to the families watching their kids playing soccer.
This type of marketing is actually in breach of the voluntary Australian Beverages Council's industry commitment on energy drinks, which provides guidelines for the responsible marketing and promotion of energy drinks to which members agree to be bound. These guidelines are meant to ensure that marketing and advertising activities of energy drinks are not directed at children.
In this instance, the promotion targeted what was clearly a junior sporting event where the participants – and a large number of spectators – were children.
This is why everyone in public health has legitimate concerns about self-regulation and industry involvement in policy areas such as food-labelling, advertising and the much-maligned 'Health Star Rating' system.
Industry is clearly not concerned with the health of their consumers; they are only interested in their own bottom line. This compromises any role they may have in shaping policies designed to improve health.
So next time Red Bull turns up at the local soccer game, I'll be suggesting they get their wings on and fly away. I want my kids sport sugar-free, thanks.
ADAVB CEO Clinical A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft