Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 31, Tuesday August 07 , 2007

 

 

Dental wise

Dental Health
You know what you eat. You know how often you brush and floss. What else can you do?

What else can you do to have healthy teeth? How do you know if your mouth is healthy? When you think about a healthy diet, do you take into consideration what you are drinking?

Advertisers may have also convinced you that you need to buy gum, breath mints, and mouth sprays to have nice breath. But fresh breath doesn't necessarily give you a healthy mouth and teeth. So how exactly should you take care of your teeth?

Tooth care at home
According to dentists, the most important part of tooth care happens at home. Brushing and flossing properly, along with regular dental checkups, can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Giving plaque the brush off
To prevent cavities, you need to remove plaque, the transparent layer of bacteria that coats the teeth, by brushing your teeth twice a day. Brushing also stimulates the gums, which helps to keep them healthy and prevents gum disease. Brushing - along with flossing - is the most important thing that you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Did you know that the toothbrush was invented by the Chinese in 1,000 AD? We now have lots of choices in toothbrushes, including different sizes, shapes, types of bristles, and colours. Your dentist will tell you which toothbrush is the right size and shape for you. Most often, however, dentists recommend a soft-bristled brush to minimise damage to teeth and gums.

What's in a toothpaste?
Toothpastes contain abrasives, detergents, and foaming agents. Fluoride, the most common active ingredient in toothpaste, is what prevents cavities. So you should always be sure your toothpaste contains this ingredient.

If you have teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure, you may want to try a special toothpaste (like Sensodyne Toothpaste or Mediplus Toothpaste) for sensitive teeth. But you'll still need to talk to your dentist about your sensitivity because it may indicate a more serious problem, such as a cavity or nerve inflammation (irritation).

You may want white teeth but be careful when buying bleaching products. Some bleaching agents may cause damage to your gums and mouth. If you want to whiten your teeth, talk to your dentist. He or she may be able to offer you professional treatment.

Tips on proper brushing
Dentists say that the minimum time you should spend brushing your teeth is 2 minutes twice a day. Here are some tips on how to brush properly:

- Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line. Gently brush (hard scrubbing may cause receding gums, tooth sensitivity, and over time, loss of teeth) from where the tooth and gum meet to the chewing surface in short (about half-a-tooth-wide) strokes.

- Use the same method to brush all outside and inside surfaces of your teeth.

- To clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth, use short sweeping strokes, tipping the bristles into the pits and crevices.

- To clean the inside surfaces of your top and bottom front teeth and gums, hold the brush almost vertical. With back and forth motions bring the front part of the brush over the teeth and gums.

- Using a forward-sweeping motion, gently brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove the decay-causing bacteria that exists in these places.

- Gently brush your all-oral mucosa including your tongue, cheek, and palate. This is a new concept of brushing all the parts of your oral cavity and researchers found that it leads to extremely good and fresh breath.

Facts on flossing/interdental brush
Although brushing is important, it won't remove the plaque and particles of food between your teeth. You'll need to floss and/or inter dental brush these spaces at least once a day.

The type of floss/inter dental brush you choose depends on how much space you have between your teeth. Although unwaxed floss is often recommended because it is thinner and easier to slide through small spaces, studies have shown that there is no major difference in the effectiveness based on the type of floss used.

With any floss, you should be careful to avoid injuring your gums. Follow these instructions:

- Carefully insert the floss between two teeth, using a back and forth motion. Gently bring the floss to the gumline, but don't force it under the gums. Curve the floss around the edge of your tooth in the shape of the letter "C" and slide it up and down the side of each tooth.

- Repeat this process between all your teeth, and remember to floss the backsides of your back teeth.

The nutrition connection
Eating sugar, as you probably already know, is a major cause of tooth decay. When and how often you eat sugar may be more important than how much you eat.

When you eat sugary foods or drink sodas frequently throughout the day, the enamel that protects your teeth is constantly exposed to acids. Hard candies, cough drops, and breath mints are especially harmful because they dissolve slowly in your mouth. Many experts suggest that you take a 3 hour break between eating foods containing sugar.

Sugary or starchy foods eaten with a meal are less harmful to your teeth than when they're eaten alone, possibly because the production of saliva, which washes away the sugar and bacteria, is increased. However, sugary foods eaten before you go to bed can be very damaging (especially if you don't brush your teeth afterward) because you don't produce as much saliva when you sleep.

For most people, it's hard to cut out sweets completely, so try to follow these more realistic guidelines:

- Eat carbohydrates (sugars and starches) with a meal.

- If you can't brush your teeth after eating, rinse your mouth with water, mouthwash, or chew sugarless gum.

- If you like snacks, eat non-sugary foods, such as cheese, popcorn, raw veggies, or yoghurt.


Beauty Dissected



Dear Doctor,
I am a well-built 21 year old guy. My problem is that I'm very hairy and it's embarrassing to have so much hair. I want to know about permanent hair removing solutions as well as the cost (chest, back and hands). How long will the treatment take? Also what are the side effects?
Thanking You,
Noman
EWU

Dear Mr. Noman,
Yes I do know that this can be a very embarrassing problem and we do have a permanent solution. There is hair removal treatment by NdYag laser. Here we treat hairy areas by laser heat that reduces hair growth permanently. At least 6 to 8 sessions are required; some patients need more sessions. You can contact me at Cosmetic Surgery Centre, 3rd floor, 72 Satmasjid Road, Dhanmondi

Dear Doctor,
I am 20 years old and I had a burn injury when I was 5 years old. My middle and index finger got burned. I had treatment when I was young but my fingers are still crooked. Can this be fixed?

Yes, you have a post burn contracture of your fingers .You will need surgery to fix the fingers and also some physiotherapy for movement. You may also need skin grafting but that will be decided after you consult a plastic surgeon.

Dear Doctor,
I have a daughter who is 9 years old and she has been suffering from tonsillitis since she was a 4 year old. We have been treating her with antibiotics prescribed by paediatricians and ENT specialists. She also has a blocked nose and breathes through her mouth. Surgery was an option suggested to us but we were too afraid. Could you give us some advice?

If your daughter suffers from tonsillitis to the extent of more than 4\5 attacks per year or complains of difficulty in swallowing all the time then the best treatment is surgery. You need to find the reason for her blocked nose. A proper examination and X-ray will give us that answer. If she has enlarged adenoids then that will need surgery as well. It's best to get the surgeries done otherwise the child keeps suffering. But if the attacks are not so frequent then treatment by medicines as well as a change in lifestyle will help her.


By The Way

Never keep pens, markers or other ink-based stationery with the tips facing downwards. Often the tips leak leaving an inky mess wherever they are stored. The best way to store them is to place them flat like in stationery stores. If that takes up too much space, make sure the tips point upwards. That will keep your pens and markers going longer.

 

Under A Different Sky

By Iffat Nawaz

Bad patches

At some point she stopped looking at him, at some point she stopped noticing all his flaws, his familiar resemblances and half dimples. When they first met he was not any different from today, at least not superficially. He was still five foot six and a half, dark, had small eyes and wide lips under a perfect nose. She didn't feel attraction; it was more like noticing someone because they are noticing you. And she was of course always noticed.

When she informally dated him with the sole intention of marriage, she started gaining weight. A patch of fat around her stomach, a slight layer on her face but she didn't worry- he was still fascinated by her. They got married; she knew she could do better and he knew how to make her stop thinking that.

Like the typical tale, they fought, made up, kissed goodnight and woke up feeling the same tiredness, the same comforts, the same old ambitions. First she wondered what his every thought was when they got out on the street. She noticed every girl he looked at, every woman that gave him a look back and she compared herself against all. She helped him increase his confidence, so that he became a man who was now noticed, a man who could ruin a woman's life, her life in particular really; give her the world and take it away whenever he pleased, because she forgot to know better.

They moved abroad eventually. Looking for something else, something besides boredom, something besides each other. Hoping they would both change, knowing it's necessary, scared of vocalising any problems. They moved abroad to ignore all their familiar comforts and ignorance, love and hopelessness.

And it was new, they were new, to each other. There were no in-laws from any sides to interfere, there were no maids, no rickshaws to take her to her parents house for some solitude when she was tired of dealing with his problems, there were no friends he could rely on, no person they could talk to, except for each other.

And it happened, not love but some sort of understanding. They didn't miss much of what was left behind so settling for not much was perfectly fine for some new freedom and escapes. Learning to speak English in a whole new different accent and tasting food from whole new kitchens, they tried to fall in love. It didn't work the first time but maybe it would work now…they hoped.

It didn't. There was no love. But there was a different comfort, an independent one. Like two good room mates, living together in harmony, married, because that's always more convenient, because marriage doesn't question love, it doesn't ask for excuses.

Over pasta and pesto and daal and bhaat they watched Will and Grace and all the episodes of Friends. He had a quick fling with an office mate and she also gave into a few new temptations, but they didn't break and they didn't ask. They still lived on, because you and I and they live for superficial soundness, and it was satisfyingly sound…

It isn't me who I am talking about…or is it? Or is it you? Or is it your next-door neighbour, or your brother's friend? A long lost aunt maybe? I don't know, you have seen it all. What can I tell you? Maybe you will write it off exclaiming: it's just a bad patch…called comfort living…

 

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