ADA left in the cold

ADA President Dr Shane Fryer

The ADA has expressed its disappointment over the lack of inclusion of any oral health representation on the newly-announced expert Advisory Council for the Australian National Preventive Health Agency.

The Advisory Council was announced on 18 July 2011 by the Acting Minister for Health and Ageing, Mark Butler. One the chief objectives of the Advisory Council announced by the Acting Minister, is to “drive Australia’s prevention agenda by providing evidence-based advice to the Australian Government and to all health ministers and developing national guidelines and standards to guide preventive health activities.”

ADA Federal President, Dr Shane Fryer, questioned the potential effectiveness of the Advisory Council without any input from the dental profession. “Around 90 per cent of oral diseases are preventable, so it is unclear why the Acting Minister has announced the composition of the Advisory Council when the Government is still missing a key piece of the chronic disease puzzle.

“Poor oral health can cause chronic diseases as well as exacerbate existing medical conditions. The ADA believes the Government has missed out on an opportunity to tackle chronic diseases head-on by excluding any oral health representatives.”

The ADA has addressed chronic disease prevention and treatment with the Government on a continual basis since 2009 and recognises the importance of the focus areas of tobacco, alcohol and other substance use; however the ADA hopes the Advisory Council recognises the importance of oral health in addressing the National Preventative Health strategy.

“The ADA’s DentalAccess policy and Pre-Budget Submission 2010-2011 outlines both preventative chronic disease strategies and care plans for people with pre-existing conditions.”

Dr Fryer concluded saying “the Federal government will find it very difficult to be able drive an effective preventative health strategy without input from the dental profession. The future oral health of Australians may be risked by the Federal Government by its exclusion of expert oral health input into the Advisory Council for the Australian National Preventive Health Agency.”


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  1. Credibility for effective education in basic brushing tecnique and the rationale for such has been demonstrably lacking. When any broadcast education has been proven to be of no benefit we must prove our ability in effective preventative health strategy before our critical relevance is to be accepted by this Advisory Council.

  2. Clearly oral health should have been included in the Advisory Council for the Australian National Preventive Health Agency. Tooth decay is our most common disease affecting over 11 million Australians each year and Gum disease is almost as common, yet the are both easy to prevent.

    Over 90% of cavities in children occur from acid demineralisation inside pits and fissures where food is left trapped after eating and brushing, fluoride, mouthwash, sugarless gum and saliva have no access to reduce demineralisation and to remineralise tooth like on easy to reach surfaces.

    Photos of sealants forced inside pits and fissures under the same chewing pressure as food, show much deeper penetration which is replicated with the Supertooth glass model of a fissure, showing that brushing cannot force toothpaste inside pits and fissures.

    Forcing fluoride inside pits and fissures and flossing or cleaning between teeth before brushing improves fluoride access to remineralise tooth like on those surfaces where access is easy should greatly reduce cavities .

    Chewing sugarless gum after eating helps increase saliva flow around the mouth, but cannot absorb and expel saliva like chewing fibre such as celery, which also forces saliva into trapped food inside pits and fissures to dilute carbohydrate like sugar, neutralise acid and remineralise demineralised tooth like on easy to reach surfaces that do not develop many cavities.

    Treating oral ill health costs over $6 billion a year and is expected to blow out to over $15 billion by 2033

    At least Dr Shane Fryer is on the National Advisory Council on Dental Health and perhaps will raise the importance of oral health to general health tha Health Minister will change the terms of reference to ensure our health system is not fragmebted but effecient and focusing on prevention.


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