Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 50, Tuesday June 21, 2005




Beauty Talk

Sadia Moyeen Beautician, La Belle

Hello Sadia,
I'm a 25 year old girl, and my hair is becoming rougher day by day. I want to do something new with my hair. Is hair straightening good for the hair? Or, what can I do to give it a new look? My skin is also pale, I drink a lot of water. Please give me a solution.

Dear Samira
For you I will repeat a treatment that I suggested last week to someone else. Trim your hair regularly. After shampoo and conditioning, apply a repairing treatment balm, leave for 2-3 minutes and rinse off.

You could try a new hairstyle or could consider straightening as well, but this does dry out the hair a bit.

Hi Sadia,
I am a regular reader of your column. You give very helpful advice, but please don't forget that we are ordinary people who often don't understand the technical terms you use, such as 2% Hydroqunore cream for removal of marks on the face. Please explain what this is, where it can be bought from and how much it would cost. That way your helpful column would be more useful. Thanking you, Anonymous.

2% Hydroquinore cream should be available at most pharmacies. Shouldn't cost more that Tk40/50. It is available in India for about Rs20 for a small 3 inch tube.

Dental wise

DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS, FSDCE (USA), PhD (Japan), Post Doc. (Japan) Specialised: Crown and Bridge work, and Periodontal plastic surgery (USA) Senior Medical Officer, Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM Hospital

Q. I am 37 years old. My dentist suggested root canal treatment for three of my molar teeth. What are the signs of needing root canal treatment? How does this treatment save the tooth? Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?
A. Signs to look for include pain, prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, discoloration of the tooth, and swelling, drainage and tenderness in the lymph nodes as well as nearby bone and gingival tissues. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.

Your dentists will remove the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully clean and shape the inside of the canal, a channel inside the root, then fill and seal the space. You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist. The un-restored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration as soon as possible. Afterwards, you will return to your dentist, who will place a crown (cap) on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After making cap, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

Q. Dear Dr Khan,
I am 40yrs old. I am a regular reader of Lifestyle magazine and having a dental advice column is a wonderful addition, because nowadays, doctors often give less time to their patients. Asking questions would be impossible but thanks to you and Lifestyle, hopefully my problems will be solved. The top part of my teeth, below the gum is chipping badly. I don't have any cavities but my teeth seem like it's going to break off. Can you please tell me the reason, a cure and the prevention? I brush my teeth thrice daily and I use fluoride mint toothpaste. Can four root canals be done at a time and is it safe in a medical term? Can you please give me a year contact number and address so that I can check my dental problem personally with you? Thank you so much for your time. Keep up the great work!
A. Dear Ms. Fariah,
I think you are suffering from tooth erosion. Dental erosion is defined as irreversible loss of dental hard tissue by a chemical process that does not involve bacteria. This erosion is caused by acids in your mouth, which can come from food, drink or sometimes from your stomach. For example, drinking a lot of acidic drinks can erode your teeth. When there is acid present in your mouth, it dissolves the minerals out of the hard enamel surface, which can weaken your teeth and make them thin. Exposure to acid over a long period of time leads to progressive loss of enamel with the effect that the tooth "shrinks" and crumbles at the biting edge. Eventually the dentine is exposed leading to pain and sometimes death of the tooth. The process is irreversible and requires expensive cosmetic dentistry to restore function and appearance.

At risk groups:
The commonest sufferers from tooth erosion are teenagers whose main drink is 'pop' (Coca-Cola, lemonade or other similar fizzy drinks). All the fizzy drinks have a high acidity and rapidly dissolve enamel. The more frequent the consumption the more damage is done.

People make pure fruit juices (which are very acidic in nature) their main drink have similar problems as pop drinkers.

Frequent gastric regurgitation or vomiting causes tooth destruction by stomach acids. Medical (and dental) advice should be sought as soon as possible.

How can I protect my teeth against erosion?
Reduce the amount of acidic drinks
When drinking acidic drinks, ensure that they are cold and that you drink them quickly and through a straw so that the drink does not touch your teeth

Reduce the amount of acidic foods
Brush your teeth twice a day and always use fluoride toothpaste

Is there treatment for tooth erosion?
Usually we prefer glass inomer or composite filling (tooth colour) but in cases where erosion has caused the teeth to significantly weaken, the dentist will fit a crown.

Do 'not' brush your teeth straight after drinking an acid drink or vomiting. After acid exposure, the enamel is softened. Brushing right after will cause the already softened enamel to be further damaged and speed up the process of erosion. Wait at least half an hour before brushing.

Yes we can start four root canal treatments at a time if the situation permits.

For more information visit www.aikodental.com

By The Way

A few hassles for perfect shaving

Shaving may be an everyday affair for men but not everyone can do it right. Occasional cut marks on the face proves the fact right. To do it right always remember to keep your blades sharp. Blunt blades cause irritation. Before you shave with a traditional razor, take a shower or apply a warm washcloth to your face to soften your beard. Apply shaving cream to your face when it's still wet.

Stretch out your skin with your fingertips, then shave with the grain of your hair growth. Throughout the process, dip your razor in hot water to rinse and when you're finished, moisturise your face with a soothing lotion specifically designed for after shaving. Read the ingredients before you make a purchase. Some aftershave lotions contain alcohol, which will sting your face and result in a drying effect.


By Iffat Nawaz

Table manners

A half lit room with creative wall paint, portraits of strong faces with meek expressions and paintings of non-existent places…costly suits and even costlier blouses, scarves from France and cotton from Italy, five course meals with overflowing wine and abundant conversation. Stiff yet necessary, dull yet ongoing, delicious yet resistible, hands moving with cautious grace and mouths chewing with closed consciousness. It is nerve wrecking; it is equally tempting and necessary, moving up the corporate ladder. We all end up there, the important work dinners. At restaurants, I would never be able to afford to even have an appetizer or dessert. I am now sitting flawlessly pretty, trying to fit in and be treated like royalty, learning the ways of networking (smooching), sounding more intelligent and important than I normally am, and looking for the right catch phrases that will shove me up a notch higher…yes I too am part of the game. We all end up here sometime or another. The game begins through that first serious job after college. Before that, you only hear about such things from friends and relatives who are already swimming with the big fishes (or at least pretending to be). " They are flying me to Turkey and then to Rome and then back to Paris all in the same week" or "Oh yeah, I had dinner with so and so the other day and…" Yes, it exists here too. Name throwing and shoulder rubbing don't exist only in Bangladesh. It blatantly exists in USA as well; the networking is done just as shamelessly, the hands moving forward for a firm shake, and the next question "So where do you work?" Connections connections, business cards, talk, business cards walk, business cards even fly you to other lands…the door to the open world of corporate ladder climbing, leadership…all in a package.So as I sit through these dinners. I like a million others in every corner of America try to stand strong, stay confident, remember not to speak my mind as often, and never utter words that are in my heart. The important colleagues or clients around me use drinks or food as an accessory for conversation starters. With them I try my best to be a critic of appetizers and dinners, which never fills you up but gives you a totally new outlook on yet another creative way of putting together a dinner plate (plates which are heavier than the wee bit of food that's served in the middle, covered with mint leaves, asparagus, walnuts or something equally lame. The conversations which usually end up with the few safe topics -- the successful or soon to be successful son or daughter, the restaurants around town, how fresh the calamari is and in which corner of the city, third or second marriages, and of course, this time of the year, Baseball!So if you are not part of those conversations you are pretty much in a quandary. Those three-hour dinners could seem like an eternity to you; you might pig-out on desserts and order seconds (a total no-no). And not only do you have to coordinate your mind carefully to fit the picture, but your hands and your utensils as well. The right fork and spoon for the appropriate food, never to put the whole spoon inside your mouth, never to place a used fork on the table…and so and so forth…
yup, it gets quite messy at times. During those times, I pretend to be more foreign than American, as usually that takes away the attention from my bad manners and gives me the sympathy of the kind American hearts, the-foreign-girl-trying-to-fit-in is much better than the Americanized-girl-totally-making-a-fool-out-of-herself.

So here I am flip-flopping my way up the ladder, falling behind, getting ahead and ending up temporarily sandwiched between velvet chairs and expensive napkins. Where will these ladders end, and how many of us will fall at the bottom? How many of us will find the giant at the end of the bean stock…no one knows…but for now…bon appetit…



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