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Does the choice of toothpaste matter?




Choosing toothpaste can be confusing especially in the midst of all the advertisements of different brands that we get showered with every day. Walking down the dental care aisle in the supermarket, we're dazzled with "advanced formulas", "multi-action" pastes, "extreme-clean" products, "micro-cleaning crystals" and even "natural" toothpastes. A daily (actually, twice-daily) essential, toothpaste is an example of market segmentation at its most successful.


We get yet another dental advice from my dentist friend Dr Mahilo Kevin Mahilo of Smiles by Dr Mahilo in Maun. Asked if the choice of a toothpaste matters, this is what he had to say; “the right toothpaste is the one which is able to prevent gum pain, discoloured teeth, cavities and other more serious dental problems”.   


But which ones can actually ensure these benefits are granted? Professor Mike Morgan, Head of Population Oral Health and Periodontics at  HYPERLINK "" t "_blank" o "Periodontics" Melbourne University, has said in one of his articles, “most toothpastes contain essentially the same ingredients and believes very few in the marketplace would actually fail to perform these essential tasks”. Below is a breakdown of which toothpaste is right under what circumstances just so we can all keep this in mind next time we do out toiletry shopping.

If you have sensitive teeth or gums

Does eating ice cream or drinking hot drinks hurt your teeth? If your dentist has ruled out other problems like cavities or root infections, the issue could be that you have sensitive teeth. Sensitivity usually comes from weakened enamel from washing teeth too aggressively or being washed out by the recurrent acid reflux or an exposed tooth root and your dentist may therefore recommend using desensitizing toothpaste for a period of time like sensodyne. Of all the spin-off segments in the oral care market, toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth is the most legitimate, according to research.

When you get deposits on your teeth too easily

Tartar is the build-up of hardened plaque that can lead to gum disease. Although regular brushing and flossing can minimise its build-up, tartar can only be properly removed by a dentist. However, there are many toothpastes that contain tartar fighting elements that can prevent plaque from hardening. Look at the label for ingredients like pyrophosphates or zinc citrate. Some toothpastes are actually labelled 'tartar control'.

If you want whiter teeth

 HYPERLINK "" Teeth-whitening products are the largest segment in the oral care market. Though most of them are falsely marketed and do not contain a bleaching agent required to physically alter the colour of teeth, many of them can leave one with a sparkly and brighter smile. Some of these toothpastes contain baking soda and others peroxide to help lighten the colour of your teeth. Talk to your dentist about the best product for you. In-office whitening or bleaching that gives an immediate whiter smile is available in most dental offices.

If your teeth decay easily

At any point in time there is a sticky film of bacteria trying to form on your teeth. This film interacts with foods (sugars) to produce acids that eat away your enamel resulting in small cavities. The mineral fluoride in toothpastes strengthens and protects against decay and is recommended for adults and kids alike. Fluoride toothpastes not only prevent decay but remineralise teeth along the root surface.

Young children

There are toothpastes in the market that make toothbrushing an enjoyable experience for kids. With lots of good favours and colourful kid-friendly designs on the tube, you'll have your little one brushing his/her teeth in no time. But as children are prone to swallow toothpaste, the Australian Dental Association recommends parents avoid giving toothpaste to babies and toddlers up to 18 months and use only low-fluoride formulas for children 18 months to six years old to prevent fluorosis (caused by ingesting too much fluoride).

The American Dental Association recommends using rice sized smear for children less than three (3) years and pea sized for those three (3) to six (6) years old.

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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