Advocacy Event Spotlight: Pontics and Politics  
On Oct. 7th, Arizona (ASDOH) and Midwestern held their 4th annual Pontics and Politics, a professional debate and social between the two schools. These chapters have a long history of planning and executing the event and were able to host 300 students this year. The event encouraged evidence-based research, helped students critically think about key dental issues and inspired meaningful discussion.

The planning for the event took several months. Many students dedicated their time and several ADA members and university deans were judges for the event. The planning process included:
  • Looking for a venue that served food and had a space big enough for the two schools to connect and socialize
  • Contacting several companies for sponsorships
  • Working with local businesses to provide raffle prizes
  • Choosing hot topics that would generate discussion, including Direct-to-Consumer orthodontic aligners and administering vaccinations as a dentist
  • Coordinating an ADPAC table at the event which led to a successful number of sign-ups
On the day of the debate, the competition and rivalry between the two schools fueled the energy. There was cheering and clapping so the debate was entertaining as well as informative. Many thanks to the students that made it happen,  including:  Christine Nguyen, Arizona '21; Jenna-Leigh Abbott, Midwestern-Arizona '20; Elijah Cutshall, Arizona '22; Kelsey Ladone, Arizona '22; and Shelly Kim, Arizona '22. 

Have additional questions about this event? Contact the Council on Advocacy.

Advocacy Month is in full swing
The Advocacy Bear is busy visiting 64 of ASDA's 66 chapters! The Council on Advocacy loves seeing your commitment to local action. Join in on the fun as there are still plenty of ways to participate:
  • Attend Advo-cast on Midlevel Providers: Dental midlevel providers are a hot topic in organized dentistry and one of ASDA's main advocacy issues. Tune into the Council on Advocacy's advo-cast at 7:30 p.m. CST on Thursday, Nov. 14 to learn more about midlevel providers and ASDA's stance. This advo-cast will feature interviews with two midlevel provider experts, Drs. Jane Grover and Debra Peters. Register today!
  • Participate in Molar Bear Video Competition to win a prize for your chapter: Simply showcase a video your chapter made with the Molar Bear, post (not a story) on Instagram by 11:59 p.m. CST on Monday, Nov. 25 and share publicly. Tag @dentalstudents and use #ASDAadvocacy and #AdvocacyBear. The Council on Advocacy will select the chapter with the best Molar Bear video and award them a gift card.
  • Check out new advocacy resources on key issues:
    • Barriers to care: ASDA encourages dental student outreach to underserved populations and supports evidence-based measures that reduce barriers to care. To emphasize this issue and the steps ASDA has taken to combat barriers, ASDA created a new info-graphic.
    • Midlevel providers: ASDA recognizes that many states have adopted legislation to integrate midlevel providers into the dental team.
      • A tracking map was created to highlight states that have adopted midlevel providers and to show which states considered midlevel legislation in 2019.
      • Many students have collaborated with their state dental associations to combat midlevel legislation. ASDA's Council on Advocacy created talking points that can be referenced when speaking with key stakeholders.
    • Fluoridation: ASDA supports the fluoridation of community water supplies as a scientifically proven and safe way of preventing dental decay. In recent years, many local and state governments have discussed the merits of water fluoridation. If your community doesn't fluoridate their water or is considering ceasing the practice, reference these talking points written by ASDA's Council on Advocacy.
Advocacy Certificate Program high-point standings 
Advocacy is vital to protect the rights and advance the interests of dental students. ASDA's Advocacy Certificate Program encourages members to engage in initiatives throughout the year. Check out the top three point earners as of Oct. 30. Make sure you submit your points for a chance to be recognized in future Advocacy Briefs. 

ASDA members must earn at least eight points by Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 to achieve the official certificate and special lapel pin. Each advocacy initiative has been assigned a point value. Please see to learn about activities that qualify for points.

Interested in serving on the Council on Advocacy for the 2020-21 Term?
ASDA's Council on Advocacy represents the interests of dental students on legislative and regulatory issues that impact the dental profession. Members launch grassroots initiatives to promote action-oriented advocacy. If you want to make a difference on a national level, check out the Council on Advocacy position descriptions. You can then start the application process by logging into My ASDA and selecting "Apply for 2020-21 Leadership Positions." Don't delay, applications are due by Dec. 15.
FROM Washington
National conversation on vaping persists

What's the issue?

In October 2018, research supported by the ADA investigated e-cigarettes and if they can increase the risk of dental caries. Findings indicated that in addition to affecting the respiratory and cardiac systems, vaping can also negatively impact oral health.

In recent months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported several lung injuries and deaths as a result to vaping. The majority of the individuals (79%) are under 35 years of age. Many states, like Illinois, are considering legislative action to curb vaping usage by limiting certain tobacco flavors. Supporters of the legislation believe that flavors entice young people to vape.

Why is it important?

As health care providers, it's important for you to be aware of the outbreak resulting from vaping. You should know the symptoms associated with vaping use and consider ways to talk to your patients about the risks.

What's next? 

Take a few minutes to read up on what the CDC is doing to respond to the increase of health accidents related to vaping.
Advocacy Brief shares news about ongoing issues and legislation that are of interest to dental students and organized dentistry. Inclusion of items does not imply their adherence to ASDA policy.