Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 9, Tuesday July 29, 2003







Dental wise

Dr. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS (Dhaka), PhD (JApan) Ora & Dental Surgeon BIRDEM hospital

Dental Phobia
Many Questions have been raised regarding anxiety about a visit to the dentist. I hope this topic will help those having Dental Phobia!

If you are worried about dental treatment then you are not alone. In the USA, between 6-14% of the population avoid attending the dentist because of anxiety about treatment (should be more in South-East Asia!). Between 45-55% of patients who attended the dentist are anxious in the dental environment.

The reasons people fear attending the dentist are varied and include pain, cost of treatment, lack of control while in the dental chair, embarrassment and fear of the unknown. The cause of dental anxiety is usually a previous bad experience, but can be caused indirectly through horror stories about dental treatment from family, friends and even the media. What do you fear most about going to the dentist? Just the thought of having a needle inserted into your cheek and a cavity removed from your tooth is enough to bring tears to the eyes. However, surprisingly it is not the actual dental procedure that most often terrifies patients. According to surveys, the sight of a needle and the sound of the drill were the two most feared elements of dentistry.

Physiological factors related to dental pain
Because of the oral cavity's proximity to the brain, as well as the complex nerve structure of the head and neck, dental pain is often more severe than pain in other parts of the body. One of the most troublesome biological factors that dentists must deal with is bacterial infection. In addition to the sensitivity caused by infections, the initial inability to drain of oral infections in the teeth and bony structures results in the buildup of pressure. As bacteria quickly multiplies and produces gaseous toxins, pressure increases and pain results. If an infection is neglected for even a day or two, the pressure can become intolerable.

Controlling dental anxiety
When you make the appointment to see the dentist, tell the receptionist you are nervous about treatment. This first appointment will usually be to discuss your fears about treatment and to do an initial examination of your teeth.
Behavior management: This is the simplest method of treatment for nervous patients. It involves a careful and sympathetic approach from the dentist, with explanations of what is being done and allowing the patient control over the procedure. Some patients may want to bring a friend along for support. It may also be possible to play relaxing music or to watch a video while having treatment.

Dental health maintenance
Of course, the most important way to reduce the pain involved in maintaining oral health is by focusing on preventive care instead of the treatment of problems. If you've put off going to the dentist for years and have neglected regular flossing or brushing, you may be experiencing advanced stages of tooth decay or gum disease - both painful problems. The further decay spreads, the more radical the treatment required. This causes trauma to the tooth and gums that results in discomfort.

New advances in dentistry
Dentistry has come a long way over the last few years and many of you will be surprised on your next visit. Even if you have put off going to the dentist and are experiencing problems, your dentist has new ways to provide relatively painless treatment. For invasive procedures such as wisdom tooth extractions, biopsies and complex root canal surgery, nerve block is often administered. This involves the injection of an anesthetic to block sensation to the nerve that sends pain signals to the brain. By blocking the nerve with an anesthetic, the dentist can numb the area requiring treatment for a specific period of time. To eliminate the discomfort associated with injections, topical agents are applied to tissues prior to the injection A soothing atmosphere and a calm, reassuring dentist can make your next dental visit more pleasant.


Anwara Chowdhury Guidance Counselor

Dear Anwara,
My friend's three-year old daughter is a "problem child". She is very hyperactive, and always picks fights with other children in the nursery. Feeding her at mealtime is like being in a war zone as she runs about and throws food everywhere. She goes to bed late - usually around midnight and then has a very hard time getting up in the morning. I think my friend is very close to a nervous breakdown - Please HELP!

A. Dear Afreen
Thank you for your letter. First of all I would suggest not labelling a child "Problem Child". As adults if we are already set up with negative thoughts then we are definitely going to give them negative messages through our verbal and non-verbal actions.

To improve the child's behaviour you need to have rules. To exercise these rules you should have consistency, consequences and a reward system. I suggest that your friend talk to a professional who can guide her through these different methods. I also run a "Children's Behaviour Management " course for parents. I am sure this course will also enable her to manage her child better.

Dear Anwara,
My nephew is ten years old. He is having a great deal of emotional problems. He cannot control his anger. He becomes very disruptive and destructive in the home. How do you deal with this form of outburst?

Dear Sohel,
Thank you for letter but each case is individual. I will need more information in order to give the proper advice. However I was counseling a nine-year-old boy with similar disruptive and destructive behavioral problems a few years ago. Firstly I obtained information about his family and their relationship with one another before starting to counsel him. This particular boy had experienced a violent home environment. He felt helpless and powerless to protect one of his parents and because of this he used to suppress his anger, which gradually changed into a destructive nature.

The initial work with him was play therapy to overcome his fear and anxieties. During counseling play therapy, other activities were introduced to explore his anger, which used to turn into a disruptive and destructive nature. This enabled him to explore his positive sides and develop skills, which would help him in later stages. Besides this he was encouraged to build a positive working relationship with his family.

For further details or advice contact Anwara Chowdhury Email: AnwaraChowdhury@hotmail.com


Lipstick trick
Love matte lipstick, but feel your dry lips wreck the look? Apply a lip balm to lips before starting your make-up routine. By the time you have done your eyes and rest of the face, your lips will be moisturized and ready for the matte lipstick.

Manicure tip
If you have been sloppy applying nail polish, simply soak nails (when dry) in warm water for a few minutes and then rub off extra nail polish gently with a finger.

Fresh scents
Scented waters, such as lavender water, are a great way to infuse a heavenly, yet subtle smell into your clothing. Add scented water to an iron, and on steam setting, gently waft over clothing. A great tip for clothes that have been in storage for the season.

By Wara Karim



Under A Different Sky

Coming to America…

SAT, TOEFL, writing an essay on the most memorable time of your life, then anticipation, if lucky then admission, then face the American Embassy for a Visa, then finding a good airline, cheap tickets, hopping on a plane and off to America.

Yes if you haven't guessed yet I am talking about the process by which Bangladeshi students come to study abroad. There are so many sub-steps in between every step of this process, surprises and disappointments.

To help the incoming students this fall I have crafted this piece with some tips and insights about coming to the USA for studies.

A lot of us living in Bangladesh don't have much of an idea about the different setting and environments of every state in America. The differences between going to a University in the South, North, Northeast, Southeast or the East or West coast.
It might sound ridiculous as education is education everywhere but you also have to consider the fact that you will most probably spend a good four years in this particular state and university, and what's around you does matter.

When picking a school always consider your personality, concentrate on your likes and dislikes. Read the fine lines printed in every brochure describing the University. For example, if you are a city person and will enjoy the fast paced life, living in apartments or dorms around all happenings and not having a certain limited boundary for a campus, apply for schools in Washington D.C, Philadelphia PA, Massachusetts Boston , New York, Austin or such places.

If you want a serene environment, apply to schools like Charlottesville VA, Princeton NJ, or Phoenix, AZ. Always consider the weather factor - if a brighter and warmer place will give you more motivation to study, Florida or California is a good option for you. Weather can have a huge effect on a person's mind and body when away from family and close friends. Also find out what kind of companies and industries are around the school you will be studying at.

The more saturated a place is with your field of work, the better your chances are of finding an internship or a job after you are done with studies.

The next big worry is what to bring with you. I would suggest not much at all. It's best to shop from here when you get here. You will know better what you will need instead of over-packing. Packing things like blankets or too many sweaters can be a total waste, get here and judge for yourself. Do bring the necessary things you need but don't stack up on supplies. Do find out where you will be living, how near it is to a mall or a supermarket. If you are not sure about the area feel free to search on the web.

Do contact your future roommate ahead of time to get an idea of what to expect and if you are not sure where you will live and have to move into a relative or a friend's place and you feel that that will be an inconvenience, go to websites such as www.roommates.com and find out what is available in the area you are looking for. The university should also be able to help with off-campus housing which is sometimes much cheaper than living on campus.

When you get here, do expect to be independent and take advantage of this situation, there is a lot to explore and learn about this country and yourself. Do not feel ashamed to take up a job even if it is not anywhere close to your dream job. This always helps to learn about the people and culture faster, and pick up useful qualities and facts. And extra cash is always good.

Do get used to doing your own chores, paying bills and also watching your own back. This is all a good thing in the end because by the end you will be a far more mature and self-sufficient individual.

Do make sure you make studying the priority; it is really easy to sway away from that with so many options. Especially since we Bengalis are so used to being told to study by our parents, when we don't have those extra voices around to tell us we sometimes end up not doing what we should.

Make sure you prioritize. Also if you get any credit cards, be careful to not over splurge, there are way too many sob stories of ruined credits, which later influence everything from renting an apartment, to buying a house or working for certain companies.

Lastly just keep an optimistic view and an open mind with determination and everything else will fall right into place. Cheers.

By Iffat Nawaz


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