012 – Diet advice in the dental setting

  • Chief Investigator A: Dr Melanie Hayes PhD
  • Associate Investigators: Dr Berenice Cheng, Dr Ross Musolino
  • Support: Alliance for a Cavity Free Future Grant, Colgate Pty Ltd


Dental practitioners agree that dietary analysis and nutritional counselling are essential for caries prevention, however, they infrequently implement these methods due to a lack of confidence and competence.

Poor diet is a significant contributor to oral disease, particularly dental caries, yet very few dental practitioners provide nutritional counselling on a regular basis, or it is often limited when provided. Dietary assessment is important because it guides dental professionals when providing nutritional counselling, allowing them to tailor their advice to suit different patients.


This project aimed to improve nutritional counselling in dental practices through an online training module and determine how effective the training module is in changing attitudes, knowledge and behaviour.


  • Prior to the training, the majority of dentists often provided dietary advice and agreed that they were confident to do so
  • The majority of dentists found that the online training module had clear learning objectives, was easy to navigate and were satisfied with the module
  • Following the training, dentists felt slightly more confident providing dietary advice