Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 7, Tuesday August 10, 2004






Dental wise

Dr. Mahfujul Haq Khan, BDS,DDS (Dhaka), PhD (Japan) Oral & Dental Surgeon BIRDEM Hospital

Q. Hello Dr. Khan,
I really love to read your Dental wise part. But I really scare to visit Dentist. May be this is because of Dental Phobia!. Please tell me about "Dental Phobia". How can I avoid this Phobia? I have lot of Dental problem, but I failed to visit.
Afsana Alam East Rampura Dhaka

A. Dear Ms Afsana,
Thanks for reading my article regularly and your appreciation. I was also very scared to visit a Dentist till my admission to Dhaka Dental college in 1984. When I was first year dental college students, then I had an experienced of painless wisdom teeth extraction in my college hospital. After that I realize that Dentistry is no more horrifying matter though it was 20 years back. By the way, did you ever visited any dentist? You did not mentioned the reason why you have this phobia. Anyway, I will try to explain the reasons and how to avoid this phobia. I hope it will help both the readers and dental surgeon. After reading this article please visit your dentist without any hesitation.

Dental Phobia
If you are anxious about dental treatment then you are not alone. In USA, between 6-14% (should be more in southeast Asia!) of the population avoid attending the dentist because of anxiety/fear about treatment. 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 site of a needle and the sound of the drill were the two most feared elements of dentistry.

Controlling Dental anxiety
Please choose a dental clinic having clean atmosphere, friendly environment and close to your home. Take an early appointment as first patient and tell the receptionist that you are nervous about treatment. This first appointment with your dentist 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/family member 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 teeth extraction, biopsies and complex root canal surgery, nerve block are 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.

But whatever the new advances in dentistry "A clean soothing atmosphere and a calm, reassuring dentist can make your next dental visit more pleasant".Ê

Visit Dr. Khan's website "www.aikodental.com" for more information on oral and dental health.

Handy hints

Preserving photographs

Have you just discovered that your precious photographs are getting damaged? If you are a victim to such an incident, the following tips will help you in future damage control.

· Always hold photographs and negatives at the edges. The acid in human skin oil will cause permanent damage over time.

· Keep your photograph collection in the best environment you can provide. Do not store them in attics or basements; cracked image surfaces and mould are among the possible consequences.

· Always store photographs in good albums such as the ones where you stick them. It allows you to rearrange painlessly and seals out outside elements.

· Never throw away the negative sleeves that photo labs provide. Keep negatives in those and label them for future reference.

· Whenever you store photos in a box put some silica gel packs in the box to keep away moisture.

· Make it a monthly routine to examine your photo boxes and see if they are intact or not.

· Never store photographs in brown kraft paper envelopes or coloured paper envelopes. The chemical in such materials are harmful for photographs.

· Each photographic negative and print should have its own enclosure providing physical support and protection. Appropriate envelopes or sleeves can be either archival quality paper or plastic. Paper envelopes are opaque but provide a suitable surface for writing information about the photograph; clear plastic enclosures allow viewing of the photo without directly handling it.

· Once housed in appropriate folders, sleeves, or envelopes, photographs are usually best stored flat in archival quality boxes.

· Photos of similar size should be stored together in enclosures that are the same size.

Try out these tips and see for yourself. Your photographs will stay in better shape and last longer.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob


The long list of advantages of Breast-feeding

Breast milk is nature's own wonderful way of providing the best food for the newborn baby. It is well accepted that breast milk is the best. According to scientists breast-feeding is protective in terms of physical, cognitive and psychological well being. The advantage of breast-feeding is countless. We present only a few of them.

Human milk consists of more than 100 separate constituents of which few are available to the bottle-fed infant. Breast milk is nutritionally superior to any formula on the market. It requires no sterilisation; it is always fresh and at the correct temperature. Breast milk is your baby's first immunisation. It contains antibodies and immunoglobulins. Breast fed babies are less likely to be overfed, because when their tummy is content they stop sucking at will. Breast-feeding costs no money. Breast-feeding creates special bonding between the mother and her infant. Breast-feeding is safer, easy to practise and manage, it is the simplest way.

There is very little risk of infections of breast milk and there is no hassle of preparation, sterilisation of milk bottle and storage of prepared milk bottles. In contrast with boiled cow's milk and other processed milk formulas, human milk is a live secretion and contains enzymes, hormones and other substances which have very important function in human body. These properties are destroyed when milk is boiled or otherwise processed.

The list of advantage goes on and on. Need we say more?




The equation

They say spending forty days and forty nights together makes one stale to the other. That is all it takes to get use to a person's mind, body and the estimated and assumed figure of a soul. That's how long it takes to find out how many creditors are knocking on the door for past due bills, how many times a month she needs to pluck her eye brows and wax her upper lips, and how many days does a carton of milk last between two people consuming different portions, with different gulps for two different hearts trying to mend for each other. Once one finds the solution to his favorite white and her favorite turquoise with a baby yellow, or finds the coupons for saving extra cash at the local grocery store, solves the decision of having a joint or separate account, it's over, he is passé, she is unoriginal, no longer are they fresh and exciting, newly weds acting new with the aura of the beyond, living off of good memories of the never returning past.

It's morbid? The current statistics predict that 43% of all marriages in the USA will end in divorce. What's the formula for finding the percentage of Bangladeshi divorces in USA? Marriages? Separations? How long does it take for one to think of the word divorce and once it's spelled out how many doors and walls and grounds does it break in a Bangladeshi mind? How many relatives cry, and fuss and discourage and how many open new doors? How many friends show their true colors and how many refer her to welfare and food stamps? How many children that he dreamed of dies with an abrupt wakening? And how many Bangladeshi children is taken custody either by the Mothers or the Fathers and after how many visits to the court does the alimony gets settled?

How many Bangladeshi Muslim men pay off the kabin-nama dues to their wives, and how many wives fight over the chunky gold jewelries calculating which is which and whose is whose? How many brides cry during the first months in USA facing disasters, devastations and disappointments wishing for the existence of Rikshaws on the American streets, to take them away to their parents or just for some fresh air? How many Bangladeshi brides marry their husbands for green cards and citizenships of USA and how many of them elope with their ex-boyfriends?

A couple has to be separated for a whole year in the state of Virginia in order to apply for divorce, New York does not allow "no-fault" divorces or ones based on incompatibility or irreconcilable differences and in TX a person has legal grounds for divorce if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that has destroyed the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. What's the Bengali definition of reconciliation or conflict of personalities? How many Bangladeshi women and men are living in reconciled marriages and how many of them have fled from on marriage to the next to find their pieces of settlements, squaring off differences to live and love?

How many awkward silences does it take for a man to fall out of love? How many abrupt meetings start a relationship? How many sweet words weave a happy nest? And how many harsh words does a Bangladeshi woman take before she should move on? How many Bangladeshis grow up wishing their parents got a divorce forgetting the boundaries of tradition instead of exposing their children to a marriage full of emptiness and misery? And how many Bangladeshi children pray every night for unbroken homes?

How many wedding pictures 4''x3''s and 8''x12''s get taken down by womanly or manly hands from walls and how many of them get ripped? How many red wedding saris get abandoned in locked suitcases? How many weddings formed to be broken does a Bangladeshi attend during a year? How many tears does a mixed tape with songs after songs from the "better days" form?

Among all the do-gooders and life-savers and info-seekers in the Bangladeshi Community abroad can someone track down these numbers for me? Can someone conduct these surveys collecting accurate data digging through skin-deep tradition and fake smiles? Can someone give me some good solid digits, not odd but even, so we all can know we are not alone?


By Iffat Nawaz
*You can contact the writer by emailing nituta@hotmail.c



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