Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 45, Tuesday June 27, 2006



Dental Wise

Dear Dr. Mahfuj,
I have dental phobia. However, I am well aware that my dental condition needs medical attention. What am I to do? Please help me.
Taslima begum

Dear Taslima,
I think I can help you. I can assure you that dentistry is no longer a horrifying issue; it is an absolutely painless approach. Please choose a dental clinic that has a clean atmosphere, friendly environment and is close to your home. Make an early appointment as a first-time patient and tell the receptionist that you are nervous about treatment. This first appointment with your dentist will allow you to discuss your fears about treatment and to do an initial examination of your teeth.

Hello doctor,
I work for a medical institution and am aware that infections can spread from dental instruments. Many diseases like AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C viruses can spread from dental treatment if cleaning or proper measures have not been taken. Are the dentists of Bangladesh aware of this issue? How are they maintaining the cleaning system? Are they taking sufficient measures to prevent this? I hope you are the right person to answer.

I believe it is a crime for dental professionals not to use proper infection control materials. It is the duty of all dental professionals to use infection control guidelines. Those who do not use infection control methods run the risk of transmitting AIDS, the Hepatitis virus, and other deadly unknown germs, threatening themselves, their staff, their patients and their families. Any surgical instrument, once used, becomes a potential source of infection to another patient and to anyone handling the instrument. To minimize this risk, each instrument must be cleaned and sterilised as soon as possible after use. To eliminate the risk of disease transmission, all reusable instruments, equipment and additional items must be sterilised after use. Common methods of sterilisation in dentistry are steam under pressure (autoclave).

In order to ensure your safety, observe your dentist at work very carefully. But what should you be looking for? Note carefully whether your dentist observes basic mandatory cross infection control techniques such as obtaining complete medical histories, changing gloves routinely for every patient, being particular about personal hygiene and washing his hands regularly and most importantly whether the dentist uses sterilised instruments and disposable needles and suction tips. An 'autoclave' is the most important tool for sterilization in a dental office. Please ask your dentist whether he uses autoclave. Simply boiling the instruments in a boiler, a common practice, is neither helpful nor advisable. It is never an alternative to sterilisation which destroys even the most resistant forms of microorganisms.

Remember, these essential measures increase the cost of providing care. Your dentist can charge for these measures separately. However, if you find a dentist not complying with these essential cross-infection control procedures, condemn his or her gross negligence aloud in his office. You will be promoting the safety of other patients before you walk out.

Style Files

Head Start
Fashion does go to our head. Accessories for the head are an all time favorite for most of us. Long hair or short, your head can always use some form of a hair accessory. In fact traditionally in this region ,inclusive of Bengal, women have always adorned pieces of jewelry for their hair and forehead. This came in the form of pins, hanging dangly ornaments, plait decorations and combs. Today, however the fashion scene has really taken off with simply all kinds of head pieces. Global fashion transcends culture, and styles are absorbed across the countries and continents. We are able to pick up fashion and trends very easily, from the print and electronic media. High fashion accessories are also manufactured and marketed globally. The volume guarantees that the prices are accessible to the average buyer. Therefore in Bangladesh like elsewhere we find new, interesting, and fascinating pieces of hair accessories every season.

Banana Clip: I suppose, it has been around for the past twenty years or so in its current form. But every season it takes a slightly new shape. It is interesting to note that these clips come in all imaginable sizes from the tiniest to fairly large sizes. This of course accommodates every ones needs. Banana clips hold your hair up. Easy and efficient this clip can provide the needed support to lock and create effortless styling. Your hair ends can fall freely or stick up whichever is more pleasing. This is probably the most popular form of clip in the world. It comes in all shades of colours, opaque or transparent, shiny or matte, embellished or simply plain; this deserves a top place in clip hierarchy.

Hair Bobble: These come in all conceivable shapes and sizes. Pomp pomps, woolen balls, square cubicles, stars, heart or floral are all good shapes Textures are very important. A soft feel or hard, shine or glitter, these bobbles are becoming increasingly popular for women of all ages. They can be worn on a single pony tail or in a pair or you could also wear tiny multiple plaits and have small interesting pieces hanging; a rage to pick up. But if you intend to stand out in a crowd wear eye catching large pieces which look trendy and hip.

Hair Band: A timeless hair accessory. It has been around from the beginning of civilization and has served fashion as well as utility with equal competence. The main purpose would be to hold your hair back. Bands can be elasticized stretch fabric that fit right into your head. These are knit in plain, ribbed or in a variation of stitches, giving it a rich surface. Stripes or solid elasticized bands are truly hip. Hard bands grip your head well. These can be plain or really fancy. Covered with further application of embellishments such as mirrors, appliqué, shapes, and details, they look great. They come as thin as a metal wire or as wide as a handkerchief.

Bobby clips: In the 1920s the new found liberated women of Europe cut their hair off and tucked them under bobby clips. Since then, it has come back to fashion over and over again. Attachments on these can have faux stones, floral and geometric metal shapes, or fabric bows. These clips naturally can be worn any where on the head but true fashionistas would wear them right above the forehead.

By the way

Spring cleaning does not necessarily have to be done in spring. Get out those brooms and brushes as the heat and dust settle in, and get to work because there's nothing more mentally and physically satisfying than living in a clean atmosphere.

Under A Different Sky

By Iffat Nawaz

The summer has spoken

The summer has spoken. She has spoken for the rest of us. She has been giving signs, for a while now. We listened in the beginning and as days passed we took her for granted, we complained about the heat, and the mugginess, how our hair was nappy because of all the moisture in the air and how everything seemed to carry a heavier weight with the warm summer wind.

When summer first paid her visit it was April. It wasn't her time. So she left. And spring came slowly, taking her own time, her pride always gets in the way of her duty. Spring and all her vibrant colors. She knows she is desired, wanted, loved, written about, romanced and wooed. So she keeps her weight by being late, staying for a fairly short while, and leaving us craving more…a perfect tease, gives enough to make the enormous impression and takes enough to leave us running on empty.

When spring left with all her grandness summer didn't want to come again. You see, we were quite rude to her this year during her short visit in April. Questioning her early comings, why so fast we asked one another, what is summer bringing for us this year, how many heat waves, how many heat strokes, how much more money on UV protection will we need, how many tubes of sun block will last us the three hot months. Summer wasn't happy at all with all these questions, and as you wouldn't expect anything less from a hot headed beauty like her, she wanted to teach us a lesson. So May was dicey, there were days when we needed sweaters, there were days when we needed an umbrella, thunderstorms washed us down, and after the storm a cool breeze that didn't calm us but made us miss the sun even more.

She worried us, she worried us till June. One weekend she even invited her friend Autumn. And everyone knows how Autumn can often be even more manly than winter, with his controversial charms and cruelty performed at the same time. He is heartless, taking all the leaves, yet harvesting crops, creating unseen beauties yet making the world barren. We were scared to see him in June, Autumn in June can never be good.

So we begged, we pleaded, we frowned, we called her back, over and over again, we were in tears, our arid beaches spoke to her about their misery, the sand told their own stories too. And we prayed and pleaded some more.

We told her without her our lives would be unimaginable, our memories would be too hurtful to look back to, because her return to us every year meant the creation of new sagas, a start of something fresh, something salty, something spicy and something fiery. She has molded us for years, through sun burnt skin, water fights, lemonade stands, strapless dresses, longer lit days, without her we would be bleak.

So she came back, with a grand entrance, with unstoppable evening thunder storms and scorching heat filled days. She has no mercy. She wants us to take it all, the storm, the before and the after.

There will be a storm that will last for the next five days, on and off the thunder will growl, and the lighting will scare all the summer fireflies. But we are awed, and glad, and being washed once again, for all our sins and all our wisdom, this summer…she really has spoken.


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