Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 18, Tuesday May 6, 2008



Some points to remember while writing a cheque:
Don't let any one rush you in writing the cheque. Make sure the cheque is properly dated, and bears the current signature that you have recorded with the bank. Make the cheque crossed or account payee for definite receipt by the beneficiary. Always fill up the counter-foil of cheques for future reference and cross-checking with the statement of accounts.

Some points to remember while accepting a cheque:
Avoid cheques bearing signs of alteration, difference in amount and figure. Ensure that the signature matches with any ID the issuer is holding. Avoid bearer cheques, cheques not drawn on local banks by local payees, counter cheques-in other words cheques on which the name of the drawee and account number is not printed. Always avoid post-dated cheques.

Points to consult your bank representative or relationship manager for the better deals:
Ensure that you are availing the right products available at the bank. Find out if you are entitled to waiver on any service charges. Being a loyal, longstanding customer you may be entitled to a lower interest rate on loans or credit card. Therefore, it would be prudent to raise these queries with your Bank official.

Are all banks charging the same rate of service charge?
Not all banks are charging service fees at the same rate. It would be wise to take out your statements for the last year or so and add up the fees and penalties you paid for monthly account maintenance, ATMs, bounced checks, etc. Now compare your bank with three or four other banks. You may discover that you could earn or save by using another bank. Or, you may find that your own bank still offers a good value and that it is willing to make compromises to retain you as a customer.

How can you simplify banking?
You can simplify your life by making your bank (if the facility exist) automatically arrange some of your regular payments, such as your mortgage, health insurance premiums and utility bills. It can be an easy, economical alternative to writing and depositing a lot of checks each month.

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 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 prevent gum disease. Brushing - along with flossing - is the most important thing that you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

We now have a lot of choices in toothbrushes, including different sizes, shapes, types of bristles, and colors. 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 minimize 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) 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, loose 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 exist in these places.

Use an egg timer or play a favourite song while brushing your teeth to get used to brushing for a full 2 to 3 minutes.

Fact on flossing/intedental brush
Although brushing is important but 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/interdental 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 gum line, 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 back sides of your back teeth.

The nutrition connection
Eating sugar, as you may 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.

Don't eat sugary foods between meals.

If you snack, eat non-sugary foods, such as cheese, popcorn, raw veggies, or yogurt.

By the way

Cardiovascular benefits

RED chili peppers are available throughout the year to add zest to flavourful dishes around the world and health to those brave enough to risk their fiery heat. Red chili peppers, such as cayenne, have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and platelet aggregation, while increasing the body's ability to dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots. It has also been found that cultures where hot pepper is used liberally have a much lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.

On a different note

Everyday is Mother's Day

THE joy of being a mother is beyond comparison. A colourful plethora of emotions and revelations highlight the achievement of this status. It is a spiritual journey bonding a mother and her child in love.

If you will ponder along with me, you might find that being a mother is not an easy job to take on. Of course, our children are our pride and joy, but today the job seems to be monumentally challenging!

We must not and cannot forget the immense contribution of our mothers, bringing us up to be good children with correct moral, values, and ethics drilled in our characters. They were always strong and steadfast in their stand, sacrificing personal ambition to devote time to their husbands and children.

Nowadays, life for mothers is anything but simple. While fathers are working hard to earn the money and that is exactly where their contribution to raising a family ends. It is up to the mother to cater to a child's whims. To top it off, the children do not make the upbringing any easier. Gone are the days when children would listen to every command /request a mother made without a fuss. Now, every question, every query, every little instruction is met with “But why?”

It is the mothers who are in the cars, sitting for hours on end, while they take the children to their tutors. Then they rush back home to make sure the food is on the dinner table at the right time. Going past schools, you can see mothers sitting outside, come rain or shine, waiting for their beloved children. When I think of the hardship they go through, my respect for them increases. What about the mothers who are working to make ends meet? Or those who pursue a career? Life is definitely not easy for them. After spending countless hours, stressed at work, the working mother comes home to perform all the additional duties of the home and family. But are they appreciated? Are the regular homemakers appreciated? Not really!

Monitoring a child is not an easy task. Studies, extra curricular activities, their social life etc. There is so much to contend with- drugs, money, peer pressure, competition in studies, striving to be better than the other. It is not as simple as it seems! Mothers have too much too handle to raise a good child.

There is nothing called a good mother to the children these days. I personally consider myself to be a good mother because my children call me the worst mom ever. That means I must be doing something right! Clothes, mobiles, iPods, Mtv, are all enemies of the state. We have so much to contend with. Our responsibilities are limitless. Childrens' expectations from us are insurmountable. We are meant to raise brilliant children, have a spotless home, lead a happy conjugal life and maintain an active social life. Did I not mention, we are also required to look young while doing all this! Our children cannot abide a by mother who looks like a mother!

Though I have striven to show the difference and the difficulty of being a mother in the current and yester age, I would like to draw my kind and patient readers' attention to the very important aspect of motherhood. Mothers are always there for their children. They are always ready to provide the emotional support needed in the process of growing up. And it never stops. Mothers are always there mentally, spiritually and physically when a child grows up, leaves home, gets married and even when they are parents themselves. A mother is always there to listen to any kind of problems a child might face through their childhood, puberty, adolescence and even as they enter adulthood. She is the pillar of strength. A mother's contribution in her child's life cannot be measured with simple words.

Let us all sit back and think when was the last time we said “thank you” to our mothers for all her endless love, patience and support she has given us from the very first day we came into being. So dear readers, let us not wait for “Mother's Day” to show how much MOTHERS mean to us. Let us show them how invaluable to us. Please take a little time to say, “Mom, you are the best.” You will be surprised with the results. You will not only make her feel well appreciated; …you yourself will feel a tremendous sense of achievement, spiritually and emotionally.

Hence, lets make everyday 'Mother's Day”.

By Sangeeta K



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