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Dear Dr. Khan,
My elder brother is 31 years old and mentally handicapped. His oral and dental hygiene is very poor as he lacks the urge to feel clean and brush his teeth. Would you recommend using an electric toothbrush? Is it safe to use an electric brush for a prolonged period of time? Can he operate it by himself?
Thanking you

Yes, I strongly recommend using an electric toothbrush. And also try to visit a dental surgeon. You can use electric toothbrush for long time and he can operate it by himself.

Dear Dr. Khan,
Thanks for the information about dental management of diabetic patients, which I found in your Dental Wise column. My parents are diabetic and I plan to visit BIRDEM Hospital for a dental solution for them very soon. Please tell me the correct way of tooth brushing. I would appreciate you help.
- Mahi

Dear Mr.Mahi
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 gumline. 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 favorite song while brushing your teeth to get used to brushing for a full 2 to 3 minutes.

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 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 backsides of your back teeth.

Dear Dr Khan,
I want to know about bridges (fixed replacement of missing teeth). Please let me know the merits and the demerits of a bridge. Can a diabetic patient use bridge?
- Alamgir Kabir
Dear Mr.Alamgir,
When teeth are missing and there are teeth on either side of the space, a bridge is the ideal way to replace the missing teeth. When there has been the loss of a tooth or teeth and there is a tooth on either side of the open space, replacement teeth can be attached to two crowns constructed for the 2 teeth on either side of the open space. This is called a bridge because it bridges the open space.

When a tooth is lost 5 or more other teeth may drift so it is essential to place a replacement tooth as soon as possible. The space left from missing teeth may cause one of several problems. Teeth may drift into the space changing your bite, this changed bite may result in sore jaws, gum disease, or decay (due to more difficult hygiene).

A fixed bridge is used to replace one or several teeth. The teeth on each end of the space are used as anchors (abutments). Bridges are not removable by the patient. As with other types of crowns (caps), a bridge can be made of metal or porcelain, or a combination of these two.

To prepare a bridge, diagnostic models are taken to study the optimum way to perform this procedure. After studies are completed, the teeth used to attach the bridge are carefully reshaped (sometimes you may need root canal treatment). Impressions are taken and from these impressions, the bridge is made by a certified dental technician. The time required is usually 4 to 7 days. During this period a temporary acrylic bridge is cemented to place.

Care for bridges
Brush and floss daily all areas around the bridge .It is not possible to floss between the replacement tooth and the attaching crowns (it is made as a solid piece). In order to solve this problem - it is necessary to use a special type of floss to go under the replacement tooth and keep this area of gum tissue healthy.

Yes, a diabetic patient can have bridge.

Dear Sadia,
I am 18 years old and a big fan of yours. I have an average, dark skin tone. I want to know the best ways of getting a lighter tone. Please help me.

Dear Samantha,
You could try bleaching using Fem' or Jolen' once or twice a month. Fair polish could also help, but no matter which products you use, be aware that it's possible to lighten only a few shades.

Dear Sadia,
I am a 16-year-old girl. From the age of 14, when I started having natural changes I noticed having stretch marks on my breasts. I want to get rid of these. I did not use any kind of cream or treatment because I wanted a consultant's advice before using anything. I would prefer home remedies to remove the marks. I hope you can help me with this.

Dear Depressed,
Stretch marks are common in teenagers as they often go through 'growth spurts'. Though the marks will lighten substantially, they do not go away entirely. Use the following pack 2-3 times a weak.
2 tbsp uptan
1 tbsp yogurt
1/2 lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar (finely grounded)
1 tbsp honey
Mix, apply, semi dry and massage off.

Dear Sadia,
I am an 18 year old. I am having some skin problems like pimple, blackheads, dark circles, bags under my eyes, hair fall etc. I am conscious about eating, drinking, and resting properly. My skin type is normal and I don't use any chemical products except face wash. Please help me to get my skin clarity back.
Thanks 'Y'

Dear Y,
Wash your face with 'Margo' neem soap every day. Use Ponds blackhead removing sticker 2 times a week. Apply grated & cooled cucumber every night before bed time or anytime that you can find free during the course of the day. Once a month have an herbal facial done by a profession. Please don't listen to people who tell you, you are too young to have a facial. Address your skin issues when they start, be it at 16 or at 60. Taking care of your skin at a young age will benefit you later.

Dear Sadia,
I am a man of 21. I have a tremendous hair fall problem. Nowadays, I'm using Garnier Long & Strong shampoo. But I have noticed a number of chemical names on its label. I know, shampoos contain lot of chemicals, which may really not really be good for the hair. So, what can I do now? Which shampoo would you suggest for me? Thanks!

Don't shampoo your hair everyday; twice a weak should suffice. Wash hair with cool water, hot showers are out for you. Once a week, gently oil your hair with Amla and a few drops of castor oil. Then apply-
1 tbsp crushed Amla paste (fresh fruit)
1 tbsp onion juice
Cool the mixture in the fridge and apply to the roots. Shampoo off. Don't worry about the ingredients in your shampoo; if they were harmful they would not have been there.

Dear Sadia,
I am a girl in my early 20's. I am constantly on the move and because of my work I am often exposed to the sun. Recently, I have noticed that my facial skin has not only turned dark but also appears to have patches of lighter shades. 'I'm very worried about this, and although I have been suggested using sunscreen, I am not sure what would suit me, because I have very oily skin and it tends to break out in pimples when I use anything during the summer. Please help me. Thank you.

Dear Worried,
Use a sun block that states 'oil free' and has an SPF of at least 30. Remember to apply twice a day. L'Oreal Garnier and Nuetrogena have an oil free range of products.

Under A Different Sky

Khai khai

A smoke filled kitchen and the sound of a pressure cooker. My mom's face showing all signs of hurriedness…three stoves going strong, making delicious everyday meals; bowls and plates all around, some to be washed, some for lunch to be served on. Lunch time, that's how I remember it. This image had set strong in my mind since I was too young to think and since then cooking to me seemed an impossible task.

Ranna-banna a mouthful of words - sounds like a huge accomplishment when you don't know how to do it. And for those who do know how to cook, it's a skill that can be made into something to flaunt in the most casual of ways. It is food we are talking about after all; our meals, our survival, our luxury, our life.

I never thought I would be capable enough to actually feed myself if I needed to. At some point in between being just a kid to a teenage girl, I learnt how to make tea and that was a big deal by itself. Now I realise how we glorify cullinary skills more than we need to.

So I never had to cook because I was lucky enough to have a mother who was great at it. And when I moved into the university dorms I had oodles of options at the dining hall to stuff my mouth with.

But then I outgrew the dorms and moved into my own space and the once a-month-visits to my mom became not enough to satisfy my Bengali taste buds. And that's when the experimenting began. At first it was the easiest items, egg curry, rice and daal. Then it became a little more intricate, and I touched meat. And then for the next few years I overdosed on chicken curry, bhaat and daal whenever the Bengali inside of me screamed for rice. Let it be on a relaxing weekend or a weeknight after a long day of work, I just had to have the taste of Bengali food.

It's been a good few years since then. And I am no longer scared of the kitchen like I used to be. It's more like a part of life, like brushing teeth and taking a shower…cooking a meal…

It's not that I am a great cook, but I must say I enjoy the process. It's like creating a piece of art and you get to enjoy the results right away. And my luck has introduced me to a few finer Bengali artists of such around town. They are all self-taught men and women like me, creating their intricate bhortas and bhajis, kormas and dolmas better than their grandmothers could in some cases. After full days of work, after coming home they create their pieces of arts to enjoy, without any househelp, without complaining just for themselves because they feel like it. And they clean up afterwards too, wash their own dishes, and sweep their own kitchen floors.

“So you eat out everyday then?” someone had asked me while visiting Dhaka recently, “Pizzas, burgers?” I'm sure she wondered: Of course a home cooked meal was out of question.

And it's that assumption that made me think about it all. The humdrum with cooking, and how impossible a task it is for modern people living in the modern world. Yet it's not… then where does the assumption come from? Movies perhaps, made up Bengali American natok characters?

So seriously, let's stop undermining our Bengali American chef skills; we aren't the best, but we make do. The word “ranna baana” is not as exotic as it used to be, it's just another Bengali phrase with a dramatic connotation… so eat up world, dinner is on us!




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