|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 11, Tuesday August 12, 2003|
Dr, Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS(Dhaka), PhD(Japan) Oral & Dental Surgeon Birdem Hospital
Q. My daughter got the habit of thumb sucking when she was 6 months old. Now she is 5 years old. We fail to stop her habit. When and how we can stop her doing this?
A.Children should have ceased thumbsucking by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Usually, children stop between the ages of two and five years. Sucking often gradually lessens during this period as children spend more of their waking hours exploring their surroundings. Can you make her busy with other activities? But never pressure her!
Q. Can a child lose a primary tooth too early? What will happen in case of early lose?
A.Sometimes a primary tooth is lost before the permanent tooth beneath it is ready to erupt. If the primary teeth are lost too early, nearby teeth can tip or move into the vacant space. When the permanent teeth are ready to come into the mouth, there may not be enough room. As a result, teeth may erupt out of their proper positions, leading to malocclusion. To avoid such future problems, your dentist may recommend using a space maintainer to reserve space for the permanent tooth.
Q. I am using an artificial denture for a long time but now a days its becoming discolor and I found some foul smell from it. How can I care/clean my denture?
A. I think you should replace by a new denture as it already discolored . This bad smell is probably due to failure to clean properly.
for artificial teeth/denture;
Q. My mother, age 70 years has no teeth and she was advised to use complete denture. But we are thinking whether this artificial teeth make her look different? Will she able to eat with her dentures properly? Will dentures change how she speak?
A.Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that little change in appearance will be noticeable. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile and help fill out the appearance of your face and profile.
Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures from tipping. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet. Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells.
Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading out loud and repeating troublesome words will help. If your dentures "click" while you're talking, speak more slowly. You may find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing.
Interpreter of Maladies
Dr. Nighat Ara
Q. My seven-year-old daughter has suddenly become very cranky and sensitive, she cries on any and every topic, she is otherwise a sweet person but is recently misbehaving with the household help and with others. She says that she has no friends at school which is not true because she has. But what happened is that when she was promoted to her new class, she was separated from her old friends and now she is taking some time in making new friends. In fact, from early childhood she has had the habit of clinging to things - her chair, her part of the bed, etc. - she doesn't like changes, to the extent that when her teacher got sick and a substitute teacher took their class, she made all sorts of excuses to not attend school.
she hates changes and doesn't adjust to them quickly. But how should
I address this? She is a happy child, however I do scold her (maybe
a little too much sometimes) - is it that I expect too much from a 7
year old? Please help me understand the situation. I want her to be
happy and well behaved and to do okay at schoolwork, but not by making
her miserable. She is our only child and believe me her father has never
scolded or tried to discipline her till now. She is the only grandchild
of my parents; my mother would give her right hand for her anytime,
and if I scold her its her Nanu that she complains to and makes things
go haywire. Anyway, please help.
A. Regarding your problem, it appears to me that you are very concerned about your daughter and eager to be a perfect mother. This is a common stress for parents of only children. What is your plan about having another issue?
Sometimes it is easy to bring up two or three children together. I myself went through the same stress and then decided to go for another.
Children go through different stages of emotional growth. Anger, frustration and sadness are all natural human emotions, feeling and expressing the emotions are also parts of normal psychological development.
However, your daughter might be grieving the loss of her close friends and so overtly sad. In fact, children with obsessive traits (preference for sameness over change) may find a new environment quite challenging and difficult to adjust. It will hopefully get better over time as she will be exposed to newer situations in the future. This inhibition or shyness may be due to the absence of other children at home or in the neighborhood, which is a problem of modern life in Dhaka. It won't be surprising if she is feeling bored at home surrounded by grown-up people and is displacing her anger on domestic help.
Misbehavior with domestic help might also indicate her struggle for superiority/dominance, imitating someone else's behavior in the family or in response to how the domestic helpers behave with her in your absence and so on.
When you try to discipline your child, it is always wise to set some consistent rules and regulations and avoid giving her mixed messages (e.g. if your husband/mother allows her to do something that you forbid, that will definitely create confusion in her). Explain why some behavior is undesirable and make her aware of the consequences. Let her take the responsibility for her own behavior (don't always try to intercede on her behalf). Affection and punishment (scolding!) both should be balanced and shared by both the parents. At times, children act out to draw attention to something more hidden or difficult for them to express. Be compassionate and make her feel safe if she wants to share some of her inner anxieties.
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