What are my options for straighter teeth?

“Straightening your teeth for aesthetic purposes is not the only beneficial outcome of orthodontics. Having straight teeth gives you healthier gums, makes teeth easier to clean and can improve self-esteem and happiness.”

Dr James Bartalotta

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a type of dental treatment that helps correct overcrowded teeth, diastema (gaps), alignment of teeth and jaws. Treatment can include braces, plates and retainers.

What are the different types of braces?

Metal braces – traditional metal braces are one of the most common types of treatment recommended by orthodontic specialists and the preferred solution when clear braces or aligners canโ€™t achieve the significant movement required. 

Ceramic braces – the difference between metal and ceramic braces is the clear or tooth coloured brackets instead of traditional metal brackets to give them a more subtle appearance.

Clear aligners –  there are a number of different brands to choose from including Invisalignยฎ, Clear Correct and OrthoCaps. A series of clear aligners apply a small amount of pressure to help move your teeth into the desired location over time. 

Lingual braces – these braces are placed inside the teeth instead of on the outside. Because of where they are placed this makes them one of the most invisible types of braces. Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to tell you if lingual braces will work for you.

Do I need to see an orthodontic specialist?

Your regular dentist may provide orthodontic solutions that help correct minor orthodontic issues however for more complex cases you can see an orthodontic specialist with or without a referral from your regular dentist.

Will the Government Help Cover the Cost of Orthodontics?  

Some people can save a small amount of the cost of orthodontics through the government.  

Child Dental Benefits Scheme  

The Child Dental Benefits Scheme covers dental expenses for children aged 2-17 years if their parent receives an eligible Centrelink payment. Orthodontic treatment isnโ€™t covered by the scheme however you may claim for x-rays or extractions.  

Can I Claim on Medicare?

Medicare will only cover the cost of braces under the Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Scheme.

Can I get a rebate for orthodontic treatment?

To claim for orthodontics you need to have an Extras policy with Major Dental.

Your dentist can provide you with itemised codes of your treatment. Your health fund can use these codes to let you know your level of cover and rebate that will apply.

The team at Care To Compare can help you compare your current health insurance policy against any health fund available in Australia. You can speak with a member of the Care To Compare team on 1300 76 76 00 to find out more.

Is there a waiting period?

A waiting period may apply if you have recently upgraded to a higher level of cover or if you are new to private health insurance. In this case a waiting period of 12 months is likely to apply.

Are there limits on rebates for orthodontic treatment?

Lifetime limits apply to orthodontics for each person. This means that each person covered by your policy can only claim for orthodontic treatment once in their lifetime.

Contact your health insurer or the Care To Compare team to learn more.

Ready to make your smile healthy?

Dr James Bartalotta can be contacted directly for a free virtual aesthetic consult or teeth whitening assessment.

Gestational diabetes and pregnancy

Written by
Fuel Your Life

There are many challenges that come with pregnancy, but one of those that is most challenging and relatively common affecting 12-14% of Australian women, isย gestational diabetesย mellitusย (GDM).

Chances are, if youโ€™re here reading this blog, you might be awaiting or even have experienced the infamousย oral glucose tolerance testย (OGTT). This test is the ultimate decider in determining whether you are diagnosed with GDM or not. Many mothers can dread this test, not only due to the fact you have to drink a very sweet drink after a nightโ€™s fast but also what those results may show. But fear no more, today weโ€™re going to delve into what GDM is, who gets it, how it can affect you and your baby during pregnancy, and how a dietitian can help you successfully manage GDM.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

GDM is a form of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. This means there is too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. Excess glucose in the blood can have negative effects on both you and your baby. But the good news is successfully managing your GDM can increase your chances of having a normal delivery with no effects on your babyโ€™s long-term health.

The Development of GDM

The food you consume is broken down by the gut into proteins, fats and carbohydrates, along with many vitamins and minerals. The carbohydrate component of these foods is made up of many small parts called glucose, and this is what we refer to as sugar. Glucose is our bodies main source of fuel, powering us with the energy to accomplish every day activates involving muscle contractions and brain function. When pregnant, glucose becomes even more important because it is needed to fuel the growth and development of your baby.

Carbohydrates are found in nearly all foods. However, carbohydrate-rich foods are typically sweet or starchy foods (see table below). During digestion, the glucose in carbohydrates is released into the blood, contributing to our overall blood glucose level. From here, this glucose needs to be transported around the body to our muscles, where it can be used for energy. The hormoneย insulinย is responsible for moving glucose from the blood into the muscles and other organs within the body, and as glucose leaves the blood, that is how the blood glucose levels start to decrease.


The below are some of the most common sources of carbohydrates in our diet but donโ€™t forget that all of those sweet and savoury treats also contain a LOT of extra carbohydrate as well as fats and salt.

Cereals and GrainsFruit
(fresh, canned, dried, juice)
Starchy Vegetables and LegumesDairy (but not cheese)
Rice, Pasta
Bread, wraps and tortillas
Pineapple, Watermelon
Juices (fresh or pre-packed)
sweet potato,
Milk (fresh,
long life,
powdered, flavoured)
Ice cream

Insulin Resistance

Unique hormonal changes during pregnancy naturally reduce the effectiveness of insulin, meaning pregnant mothers usually require 2 to 3 times more insulin than they normally would. When the effectiveness of insulin is reduced, glucose stays in the blood and cannot be transported to the muscles. This is referred to as insulin resistance. This is what is happening to mothers with GDM. Their bodies simply cannot keep up with the insulin demands and does not produce enough insulin to effectively overcome the insulin resistance. Blood glucose levels will continue to rise to unsafe levels as more food is consumed. Some women in particular struggle to produce the extra insulin and have an increased risk of developing GDM, these include those:

  • Aged over 35 years
  • Above the healthy weight range
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or Asian decent
  • Having a family history of type 2 diabetes or high blood glucose levels
  • Using anti-psychotic or steroidal medications
  • Already had GDM or a large baby before

If you fit into any of the categories above, you could have GDM without even knowing it. Many mothers do not report any symptoms. But those who do typically notice increased thirst, increased hunger or food consumption and more frequent trips to the toilet. All of which are typical symptoms in someone with diabetes.

The Effects on Pregnancy

When blood glucose levels are uncontrolled and remain too high for too long, the glucose needs to find somewhere to go. The easiest path for this glucose is straight to your baby. Extra glucose means the baby will be getting too much fuel, resulting in too rapid growth. Bigger babies can significantly increase the chances of early delivery, with complications during birth. As a result, C-sections are very common to assist in the delivery.

Testing for Gestational Diabetes

GDM is diagnosed using the OGTT as mentioned above, and although it is challenging and requires a lot of patience it is essential to ensure the health of you and your baby. This test usually occurs around 24-28 weeks into the pregnancy, where you drink a sweet drink after an overnight fast. The pathologist will then test your blood sugar levels at certain time points. If too much glucose remains in the blood, you will be diagnosed with GDM.

Managing Gestational Diabetes

GDM can be successfully managed by monitoring blood glucose levels, and by adopting a controlled eating pattern. Upon diagnosis, you will be referred to a dietitian and diabetes educator.

If you are looking or anย Accredited Practising Dietitian the team at Fuel Your Life can assist you and your GP can refer you straight to them. Fuel Your Life dietitians will always provide you with advice that is tailored to your lifestyle.

The bottom line is that GDM is a condition that can be successfully managed with a proactive approach. Fuel Your Life dietitians are here to help, soย get in touch today.

Can I get a rebate for seeing a dietitian?

To find out how you might be able to claim the costs of seeing a dietitian with your health insurance speak with a member of the Care To Compare team on 1300 76 76 00.

Care To Compare can help you find a health insurance policy that covers you for what you need. When you compare and buy a policy through Care To Compare, 100% of profits are donated to charities like theย Australasian Birth Trauma Associationย who provide a peer-led community dedicated to helping Australian and New Zealanders prevent and heal from birth-related trauma.

Top 5 myths about osteoarthritis

“If somebody says they have arthritis they are most likely talking about osteoarthritis. If you are struggling with arthritis or joint pain see your health professional to discuss some treatment strategies suitable for your situation.”

Dr Matt Corbin, Osteopath, Six Core Outcomes

Fun fact: There is more arthritis today than there has ever been and we have never been more sedentary. Perhaps it’s time we stop calling it wear and tear?

Here are the top 5 myths about osteoarthritis.

1. Scans

Scans can not and do not predict your level of pain or disability regardless of how severe the arthritis may appear on an image.

2. rest

Rest or avoiding activities completely can actually make pain worse in the long run.

3. exercise

Exercise is not dangerous. Safe, graded exposure to painful activities can actually help reduce pain by improving your strength, capacity and tolerance.

4. Surgery

Surgery is not the only answer. In fact 20% of people who undergo joint replacements donโ€™t achieve pain relief. Surgery is suggested for people who have undergone thorough non-surgical management unsuccessfully.

5. Pain

Pain does not reflect the amount of damage. Much like on a scan, the amount of damage does not reflect the level of pain. They do not always correlate.

Do I need private health insurance to see an osteo, physio or Chiro?

No. All practitioners can see both private and public patients.

Your health insurance can provide you with rebates when you visit an osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor. Check with your health fund what benefits are available.

Interested in Working with an osteopath?

Book an appointment with Dr Matt Corbin at Six Core Outcomes or find your local Osteopath.

What’s the difference between an Osteo, Physio and Chiro?

“The assumption is that the professions are all very different, with various techniques & skill sets. Whilst some subtle differences may exist, the truth is that we are more alike than some (clinicians) might like to admit!”

Dr Matt Corbin, Osteopath, Six Core Outcomes

If youโ€™ve ever wondered what the difference between an Osteopath, Physiotherapist and a Chiropractor is – you are not alone! It can be a confusing discussion within the healthcare system so I can only imagine how confusing it can be for patients just looking for help.

Education & Qualifications

Each profession is registered and regulated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Each profession is accredited after completing 4-5 years of education at university.

Each profession consists of a mixture of hands-on treatment and rehabilitative exercise designed to help those in pain.

whatโ€™s the difference?

Itโ€™s important to note that โ€˜Osteoโ€™, โ€˜Physioโ€™ & โ€˜Chiroโ€™ are professions – Theyโ€™re not treatments or treatment styles. Each is qualified to provide diagnosis, management and prevention of musculoskeletal conditions. 

In the modern age of evidence-based medicine youโ€™ll start noticing that the best practitioners will all practice in a very similar way. The secret is out – Gone are the days where a 5-10 minute appointment for an โ€œadjustmentโ€ is considered optimal health care.

Dr Matt Corbin (Osteopath) at Six Core Outcomes using manual therapy for patient.

The real difference comes between practitioners, not professions. 

The best practitioners get you moving.

The best practitioners build confidence, not fear.

The best practitioners get you off the table, and back to the activities you love.

Avoid somebody who spends the majority of time doing things to you, find yourself a practitioner who empowers you with self-care strategies to look after your own body. 

How do you choose the right osteo, Physio or Chiro?

Choose the person, not the profession. To help find your next Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor use this checklist to help guide your decision.

Find a practitioner who:

  • Seems genuine, empathetic and understanding
  • Educates, empowers and builds confidence 
  • Works with you to find the right management plan suited to your goals
  • Promotes self-care strategies alongside hands-on treatments
  • Encourages you to ask questions during your appointment.

Do I need private health insurance to see an osteo, physio or Chiro?

No. All practitioners can see both private and public patients.

Your health insurance can provide you with rebates when you visit an osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor. Check with your health fund what benefits are available.

Interested in Working with an osteopath?

Book an appointment with Dr Matt Corbin at Six Core Outcomes or find your local Osteopath.

What mental health treatment is covered by Medicare and private health insurance?

Written by Care To Compare

Australians are becoming more aware of their own mental health needs and the needs of their family and friends. A great range of support services are available with or without private health insurance.

If you or someone you know lives with a mental illness a Medicare rebate to cover part of the cost of your appointments with a psychologist might be available.

Does private health insurance cover mental health?

Private health insurance can provide additional support in addition to the rebates you are entitled to from Medicare. It can help you with:

  • In-patient or Psychiatric care generally covers treatment in a private hospital. A Gold level of hospital cover is required for this, there may be a two-month waiting period, but you may be eligible to have this waived.
  • Out-patient or Mental Health careย generally covers psychological therapy when or if you are no longer eligible to claim this service with Medicare.

If you need some help to figure out the best health insurance with psychology benefits or psychiatric services please contact our team on 1300 76 76 00.

What is the mental health waiver?

The mental health waiver enables a person with limited hospital cover to upgrade their level of cover so they can access in-hospital psychiatric services without needing to serve the usual 2 month waiting period. Currently, this exemption can only be accessed by each person once in their lifetime.

Generally, you must have served an initial two month waiting period for any psychiatric benefits. Ask our team or your health insurer for the specific details that apply to your cover.


When you speak to your preferred doctor they can help coordinate the treatment of mild mental health issues by providing practical advice, referring you to a psychologist or prescribing medication. They may refer you to a psychiatrist. Your doctor may develop a Mental Health Treatment Plan specifically for you. This can provide up to 10 sessions with a mental health specialist subsidised by Medicare. This initiative is known as Better Access.

What public support is available?

ReachOut.comย provides free online mental health services for young people and their parents in Australia.

If you or someone you know needs help please contactย Lifelineย on 13 11 14.


If you or someone you know lives with a mental illness, a Medicare rebate to cover part of the cost of your appointments with a psychologist might be available.

Care To Compare proudly supports ReachOut.Com