Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Wake up call: Aussie teens losing out on a good night's sleep thanks to energy drinks

Energy drinks are contributing to poor sleep among Aussie teens, with new research showing those who drank these highly caffeinated drinks at least once a week were twice as likely to get less than eight hours sleep on a usual school night than those who didn’t.

The findings from Cancer Council Australia’s National Secondary Students’ Diet and Activity survey looked at the habits of more than 9,000 students across the country and found that 1 in 14 teenagers consumed energy drinks at least weekly. A quarter of students had consumed energy drinks at least once.

The survey also showed that males were significantly more likely than females to be weekly energy drink consumers.

The 19 leading health and community organisations behind  Rethink Sugary Drink, including the Australian Dental Association, are calling for restrictions around the sale and marketing of energy drinks to young people.

Craig Sinclair, Head of Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria, a partner of Rethink Sugary Drink, said given the high levels of sugar and caffeine in energy drinks, it’s worrying to see that so many teenagers are drinking them regularly.

“These drinks just aren’t worth the buzz. Some of the larger energy drinks contain up to 21 teaspoons of sugar and as much caffeine as two cups of instant coffee. It’s no wonder it’s affecting students’ sleep,” he said.

Mr Sinclair said that getting enough sleep is not only important for teenagers’ mental and physical health development, poor sleep habits are also a risk factor for overweight and obesity.

"The high sugar content coupled with excessive amounts of caffeine in energy drinks have a negative impact on not only diet but also sleep. This can lead to weight gain and obesity, increasing the risk of heart and kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers."

A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft, ADAVB CEO, said energy drinks are also a major contributing factor to tooth decay and tooth erosion.

“Regularly sipping on energy drinks exposes teeth to an attack of acid and sugar, dissolving the outer surface of our tooth enamel. This regular loss of enamel can lead to cavities and exposure of the inner layers of the tooth that may leave them feeling very sensitive and painful.”

“The caffeine in energy drinks can contribute to a dry mouth, making it harder for saliva to protect against tooth decay. Energy drinks are packed with a triple whammy of sugar, acid and caffeine that all combine to increase the risk of tooth decay and erosion.”

View media release

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Auditor General’s report shows Victorian Government still failing public dental patients

The Victorian Auditor General’s Office tabled a report in Parliament today on the follow-up to the 2016 audit of Access to Public Dental Services in Victoria. This follow-up report examined how the public dental sector and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has performed in responding to VAGO’s 11 recommendations from 2016.

The Auditor General delivers a concerning scorecard for this government, with only one of the 11 recommendations completed over the past three years, noting that “there remains more work to be done” to complete all the recommendations by December 2020. As a result, adult public dental patients continue to face unacceptable delays to access care, with an average waiting time of 20.2 months across Victoria, and with patients in some areas waiting more than three years for basic dental care.

The Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch (ADAVB) applauds the focus on prevention throughout the report, noting that prevention is critical to improving oral health. However, there is still an urgent need to increase funding for adult public dental services to address the significant burden of disease that already exists in the community. According to ADAVB CEO A/Prof Matt Hopcraft, “There are more than 1.5 million Victorian adults eligible for public dental care, but only 220,000 receive care each year, leading to significant deterioration in oral health for many vulnerable Victorians.”

The ADAVB is also concerned about the lack of transparency in waiting list data for patients to assist them in improving their oral health. “We have had to rely on Freedom of Information requests to better understand the gaps in the system and advocate for improvements. This information should be more readily available to the public,” said A/Prof Hopcraft.

The ADAVB has just launched a campaign encouraging people to Take Control of their oral health and visit the dentist ( on a regular basis to help maintain good oral health. Lack of investment from the Victorian Government means that this is almost impossible for patients who rely on public dental services. “There is an urgent need for the Victorian Government to boost funding now for adult public dental patients and work constructively with the Commonwealth to build a sustainable model for public dental care,” A/Prof Hopcraft added.

As the Auditor General notes, good oral health is important in its own right and is strongly linked to general health and well-being. The ADAVB remains committed to working with the Victorian Government and all stakeholders to improve the oral health of the Victorian community.

Media enquiries

ADAVB CEO Assoc/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
Tel: 8825 4600

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Meet Frank. New campaign to encourage Victorians to visit an ADAVB dentist launches today.

Meet Frank. It’s tooth hurty and he’s sore. He wants people to go to the dentist before a sore tooth takes them there.

We’re excited to launch our "Take Control" campaign today that directs Victorians to an ADAVB member dentist, before a sore tooth takes them there!

The ADAVB and Frank the Molar are encouraging Victorians to take control of their dental health and to avoid pain and prevent complex dental issues by seeing an ADAVB dentist regularly.

Only 50 per cent of Australians regularly visit the dentist, and tooth decay and gum disease are two of the most common health conditions affecting Australians.

Victorians can find an ADAVB dentist by visiting and searching for a preferred suburb or a practitioner’s name.

Share Frank. Share our video and use the hashtags to make sure Frank gets around!

Share on Facebook
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View the campaign web page

View media release

Good oral health is critical to good general health and dentists are committed to helping their patients to keep their teeth for life. We want Victorians to find a regular ADAVB dentist and see them regularly for preventive care and early identification of dental issues.

We need all members to get behind Frank and share this campaign. The more it’s shared, the more Victorians will be directed to our member dentists, for ongoing dental care and education.

Together let’s help Victorians take control of their dental health and visit an ADAVB dentist before a sore tooth takes them there.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Just finished your degree? Get set for your career in dentistry!

Congratulations to all our La Trobe University and The University of Melbourne final year students on completing your dentistry degree.

We know how hard you have worked to get through your studies and we look forward to supporting you as you embark on your dentistry career.

All final year member students will be sent an email and print copy of our Introduction to the dental profession handbook. To access it online you'll need your ADAVB member number and login: My ADAVB>Careers. Get set to launch your career in dentistry with helpful tips including:
  • Checklist for getting started
  • New graduate registration
  • Ethical practice
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Preparing for job interviews.
The handbook also describes all the ways that we will support you as an ADAVB new graduate member.
  • Free and discounted ADAVB membership
  • Free and discounted CPD to suit your career stage
  • Free essential resources and publications
  • Free career development opportunities such as leadership and mentoring programs
  • Lifestyle benefits such as shopping, travel and entertainment discounts
  • Tailored graduate support and advice on banking, financial and investment topics
  • Confidential and free personal and professional support
  • Networking opportunities, and lots of fun sport and social events. 
Make sure you also publish your professional profile on to help prospective employers find you. This is a free service for you to promote your credentials to over 15,000 ADA members across Australia. You can select the type of work you're looking for, the hours and the locations where you'd like to work. (You'll need your ADA federal login to access the careers page).

Please ensure that you inform us of changes to your contact details, especially your email address, so we can continue to send you information about our career and lifestyle support services, and our free/discounted CPD and events. Please email Dean Swaney at or call 03 8825 4600.

We look forward to welcoming you to the profession and seeing you at our ADAVB events!

Not a member? You can join anytime! Visit our website for further information and to download an application form. Or email us at

Friday, November 08, 2019

Join a Victorian health service board

Thinking about how to make a difference to public health and take your career to the next level? Join a board of directors of public health services, public hospitals, Ambulance Victoria and Health Purchasing Victoria - a great opportunity for an ADAVB member dentist to get involved in public health governance and make a difference to Victoria's health system.

Victorian health service boards are appointed by the Minister for Health and have well defined responsibilities. The Department of Health and Human Services provides a dedicated support program to develop board capability. Board appointments are held annually for public hospitals, Ambulance Victoria, and Health Purchasing Victoria. Board education aims to develop and strengthen each director’s capabilities. There are many resources available to support boards and their members.

Safe and high quality healthcare for all Victorians is a priority of the Victorian Government. Applicants must be able to demonstrate and provide evidence in support of the skills they identify in their applications. These positions provide an exciting opportunity for members of the Victorian public with relevant experience and qualifications to contribute to the strategic leadership of public health care delivery to the community.

Applications close at 5.00 pm Monday, 2 December 2019.

Apply for a board position:

Compliance with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia guidelines

The Dental Board of Australia is asking dental practitioners at renewal of their registration to declare that they are aware of their infection status for blood-borne viruses and comply with the requirements of the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) guidelines and the Board’s Guidelines on infection control.

The registration renewal now asks practitioners who perform exposure prone procedures to answer questions about their compliance with the CDNA guidelines.The CDNA guidelines and helpful information sheets to support practitioners are available on the Department of Health’s website.

The questions are:

Do you perform exposure prone procedures in your practice?

During the preceding period of registration, have you complied with the Australian National Guidelines for the management of healthcare workers living with blood borne viruses and healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures at risk of exposure to blood borne viruses?
This includes testing for HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatits B at least once every three years. Testing for Hepatitis B is not necessary if you have demonstrated immunity to HBV through vaccination or resolved infection.

The CDNA defines exposure prone procedures (EPPs) as “procedures where there is a risk of injury to the health care worker (HCW) resulting in exposure of the patient’s open tissues to the blood of the HCW. These procedures include those where the HCW’s hands (whether gloved or not) may be in contact with sharp instruments, needle tips or sharp tissues (spicules of bone or teeth) inside a patient’s open body cavity, wound or confined anatomical space where the hands or fingertips may not be completely visible at all times.”

Examples include maxillofacial surgery and oral surgical procedures, including the extraction of teeth (but excluding extraction of highly mobile or exfoliating teeth), periodontal surgical procedures, endodontic surgical procedures, implant surgical procedures.

Further information can be found at the Dental Board of Australia website.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Victorians brushing up on their awareness of sugary drinks

Victorians are brushing up on their sugary drinks knowledge and looking to cut back on sugary drinks, thanks to Cancer Council Victoria’s graphic '13 types of cancer' public awareness campaign. This campaign is the current focus of the Rethink Sugar Drink partnership, an alliance of health and consumer organisations, including the ADA, working together to advocate on behalf of the community to reduce the harmful effects of sugary drinks.

The campaign launched last October, exposing the link between obesity and 13 types of cancer with a simple message to avoid sugary drinks as a key contributor to weight gain. 

The evaluation, conducted by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at Cancer Council Victoria, found the confronting advertisement was effective in exposing added sugar in a variety of drinks, beyond soft drinks.

The campaign was evaluated by comparing attitudes and behaviours regarding sugary drinks of 602 people aged 25-59 in Victoria where the campaign aired with 618 in other Australian states that did not show the campaign, with the exception of Western Australia.

Over half of those surveyed indicated they intended to reduce their consumption of energy drinks, fruit drinks and flavoured milks after seeing the campaign.

The impact was particularly noticeable among parents and frequent consumers of sugary drinks.
Cancer Council Victoria’s lead researcher of the evaluation, Dr Belinda Morley, said the results demonstrated the importance of educating people about the dangers of hidden sugar in other types of sugary drinks. 

“Our evaluation found the campaign achieved what it set out to do which was to increase peoples’ awareness of the link between obesity and cancer risk and encourage them to avoid sugary drinks,” said Dr Morley. 

“This was most starkly demonstrated when we saw an increase in the number of Victorians who reported their intention to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks such as energy drinks, fruit drinks and flavoured milk. This was not observed in the states where the campaign wasn’t shown.”
Cancer Council Victoria’s Chief Executive Officer, Todd Harper, said investment in healthy lifestyle mass media campaigns like Cancer Council Victoria’s '13 types of cancer’ should form an important part of an obesity prevention strategy.

“This campaign shows that if we empower people with information, they are able to work towards making healthier decisions for themselves,” Mr Harper said.

The advertisement features Melbourne surgeon Dr Ahmad Aly exposing in graphic detail what sugary drinks could be doing to your health, as his laparoscopic camera delves inside a patient’s body to expose the harmful toxic fat around internal organs. 

The evaluation supports LiveLighter’s survey of over 2000 Australians that demonstrated while the majority of people (93 per cent) identified soft drink as a sugary drink, a third failed to identify flavoured milks as a sugary drink and 27 per cent failed to identify fruit drinks as sugary drinks.

Top tips to avoid sugary drinks

  • Avoid the soft drink aisle at the supermarket and beware of the specials at the checkout and service stations.
  • If you're eating out, don't go with the default soft drink – see what other options there are, or just ask for water.
  • Carry a water bottle, so you don't have to buy a drink if you're thirsty.
  • Herbal teas, sparkling water, home-made smoothies or fruit infused water are simple alternatives that still taste great.

Further information

Oral health tips and fact sheets:
Recipe ideas:

Whiteman, D.C., Webb, P.M., Green, A.C., Neale, R.E., Fritschi, L., Bain, C.J., … & Pandeya, N., 2015, ‘Cancers in Australia in 2010 attributable to modifiable factors: summary and conclusions’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 477–484.

Cancer Council Victoria Media Release 30 October 2019

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Malicious hacking email targeting dental practices

The ADAVB has been advised that a hacking email targeting dental practices is operating, following a similar incident affecting public hospitals that was recently reported in the media. Emails imitating known email addresses and practitioners have been sent to dental practices and patients. These emails appear to be authentic because they are being sent from a practitioner's email address that is known to the recipient.

The content of the email thanks the recipient for their service or asks them to check or confirm details, by referring to an attachment and asking the recipient to open it – to date these attachments are Word documents. The email content ends with 'Sent from LG Mobile’ or ‘Nokia mobile’ however there could be more variations circulating that we are unaware of.

At this stage, we are unaware of any members opening the attached documents, and the resulting effects. However it can be assumed that opening the attachment could result in the installation of malicious software on your practice computer and/or network. 

If you receive an email or web contact like this, please do not respond to the email, forward the email or open any attachments. Please report your concerns to your IT service provider as soon as possible. 

Some email providers provide reporting mechanisms. If you use Outlook email, choose the ‘mark as phishing’ options in your email account. Similarly Google and Microsoft email providers have 'report phishing’ tools. 

You are encouraged to also report your concerns to the ACCC’s Spamwatch:

Further information: