Digging into anything and everything that makes the CNMI tick beyond politics...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No more sleepless night due to toothache

IT usually starts with a slight throbbing which you try to ignore as you try to fall asleep. But you know too well that you can’t win the battle, and very soon, the throbbing starts to get worse until it becomes an unbearable giant ache.
If you haven’t experienced what it is to toss and turn the whole night as you try to bear the hammering pain that’s drilling and grilling your gums, and fighting the urge to shake your snoring companions so they too can share your pain, then you don’t know what the word “toothache” is all about.
Some people suffer toothache loudly, announcing their pain to everyone and everybody who would care to listen. Others are the exact opposite.
I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been there, I’m still there, and I’ve been suffering several sleepless nights in pain for the past week but I belong to the sufferers who bear the pain as silently as I can.
Like everybody who is suffering from the same situation, we all know that a trip to the dentist is long overdue but for some reason or another, we try to hold it off for as long as we can.
It’s fear of needles and dentists in my case. You have your own reasons for delaying that trip to the dentist, but sooner or later, we all know that we have to make that trip.
Sleepless nights caused by toothaches can be prevented, according to Seventh Day Adventist Dental Clinic director Kenneth D. Pierson in a recent interview.
Pierson said although the number of children getting their teeth fixed has been increasing over the last years, more children suffering from cavities could have been spared from the pain and trouble had their parents been made aware of the importance of taking care of the teeth right from the start.
“Dental problems such as cavities are global. It spares no one, but the problem could be prevented if you take care of the teeth at home when the children are small,” Pierson said.
“Toothache from cavities is an unnecessary problem that could have been solved by prevention and knowledge in proper dental practices,” he added.
Snacking or eating between meals, and giving children soft drinks, tetra pack juices, and candies are the culprits.
“Kids will always choose soda and candies over vegetables but keep this in mind that what may sound like the best-tasting foods are not always the best foods for your teeth, and sometimes you just have to say NO to them,” Pierson said.
“When your children ask for sodas or tetra juices, give them water instead. It’s safer,” he added.
Resident dentist Fred Gogan at the Dental Care Clinic in a separate interview said the people in the CNMI are up to date with the latest fashion in some things, but not in dental care.
Gogan said he has extracted more teeth from people in the CNMI in the seven months he has been here compared to where he used to work in his 26 years of dental practice.
“When you get an aching tooth, everything else will be affected,” he said.
He said only a handful of people on island visit the dentist regularly for maintenance check.
“Most of the clients come in when after sleepless nights of pain. They come to us when they HAVE to, and that is not good,” Gogan said.
What dentists can do is  alleviate the pain that the children and a big number of adults are suffering, and prevent more pain in the future.
But it’s up to the parents and adults to prevent toothache-caused sleepless nights for their children in the future, and for the adults to have their teeth fixed now.
Pierson and Gogan both encourage members of community to visit them for a dental checkup.  I know I should be talking to myself about a visit to a dentist, ASAP. (published HERE)

Full house for ‘Oba: The Last Samurai’

CNMI leaders, businesspersons, local and Japanese media and other members of the community  filled the 200 seats reserved for the premier of the Japanese film “Oba: The Last Samurai” at the Hollywood Theater on Monday evening.
Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan chats with Saipan Mayor Donald G. Flores prior to the screening of “Oba: The Last Samurai” at the Hollywood Theater on Monday evening. Photo by Raquel C. BagnolMembers of the audience interviewed by this reporter said they were “awed” and “touched” by the film.
The movie  ran for 80 minutes and was filmed mostly in Rayong, Thailand. It included footage from Saipan as it depicted how Captain Oba, played by Yutaka Takenouchi, and his men fought the U.S. forces before finally surrendering in Dec. 1945.
Some of the viewers told the Variety that even though they have lived on island for years, it was the first time they learned about Oba’s story.
Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said he liked the movie.
“There is so much humanity despite the war, and I felt the respect between the captains of both the U.S. forces and the Japanese soldiers for each other,” he added.
IT&E marketing associate Brad Ruszala said the film can help many people rediscover the past.
“It is a powerfully amazing movie, one that evokes emotional reference to the history of the place,” he added.
U.S. Department of the Interior field representative Jeff Schorr said he thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
“I thought it was presented fairly. It was faithful to  history, from my understanding of it,  without ‘Hollywood-type’ exaggeration.  The Japanese production was excellent, the acting seemed appropriate to the situation,” Schorr said.
Before watching the movie, he said he re-read his copy of Don Jones’ book “Oba: The Last Samurai,” from which the film was based.
“I trust it will give both local, Japanese and American audiences an insight into the history of the Battle of Saipan in 1944-45,” Schorr added.
DFS Saipan Ltd. assistant general manager for operations Ben Babauta said the movie was “very exciting,”
Rotary Club president Glen Perez said the film was “very excellent.”
He added, “It is exciting to note how peace transpired between the U.S. and the Japanese forces after the war. The movie depicted the struggles of Captain Oba and his men who saved the lives of many people and ended up being heroes — something which a lot of us don’t know about.”
U.S. District Court chief deputy clerk William “Bill” Bezzant said he could not help but compare “Oba: The Last Samurai” to the 2002 movie “Windtalkers,” which starred Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater, and was also about the Battle of Saipan.
He said “Windtalkers” was filmed mostly in a desert in California and did not incorporate actual scenes from Saipan.
“ ‘Oba: The Last Samurai’ is very authentic. A viewer who lives here will find it hard to distinguish the interchanging locations between Saipan and Thailand because it is as though the whole movie was filmed here,” Bezzant said.
He said the movie was also very accurate.
Lawyer Teresa Kim-Tenorio said she “assumed it would just be another typical war movie. However, within the first few minutes, I was completely hooked. I loved it. The plot was unique, in that it focused on loyalty and peace, as opposed to hate and bloodshed. I believe it touched me more knowing it happened here.”
Aya Matsumoto of  Pacific Eagle Enterprise  Inc. said the movie portrayed both sides of the war.
“In some movies only one side is portrayed but in ‘Oba,’ you can see how the two opposing forces joined in peace afterward,” Matsumoto said.
Dignitaries who attended the VIP screening at 5 p.m. on Monday included Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, Saipan Mayor Donald G. Flores and Tinian Mayor Ramon M. Dela Cruz.
The cast, which included lead actor Yutaka Takenouchi, supporting actor Takayuki Yamada and film director Hideyiki Hirayama, also attended the premiere.
The movie will be shown in theaters all over Japan on Feb. 11. (published HERE)