Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2008 January 19

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January 19[edit]

Can teeth heal themselves?[edit]

I brush my teeth properly every night before I go to bed. Usually not in the morning anymore, but I did that pretty much up until I was 19. When I was 18, I got my first hole and they drilled. It hurt like hell, despite the stuff they gave me to easen the pain. I never want to go back there again, and haven't so far. That's four years ago now.

I don't drink, smoke or do any drugs. As mentioned, I had never had holes up until age 18. Now I am really starting to feel my teeth hurting. It's a terrible feeling. The last few days it has hurt when I BRUSH them even. That is a very bad sign. But I just can't go back to those torturers. Plus they charge me now that I'm this old (free up until you're 18 in this country). And it's not cheap either.

So... is it possible that teeth can "heal" themselves? Perhaps at night after I used toothpaste etc.? Somehow "fill in the gaps" by getting a number of hours of sleep without any intake of food/sweets and a clean mouth? I could almost give up eating candy if my teeth would just stop hurt! I hate the human body. So much things that can go wrong... especially the teeth seem to be stuck in evolution. Well, it could always be much worse... but that is never any comfort to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:01, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Um, no, if you have cavities your teeth won't heal themselves and in fact can become seriously injured as a result of being left untreated ("...can lead to pain, tooth loss, infection, and, in severe cases, death of the tooth."). You need to go to a dentist. Yes, dental work can hurt (though it doesn't always—a surface cavity is really almost nothing, I've had quite a few filled without any painkiller at all, because I dislike the needles), but that's just how it is. The dentists don't like to hurt you, usually, and if you tell them that you had a bad experience before they'll probably be extra careful to make sure it is numb before operating on you. It's actually considered a very stressful profession because nobody wants to see a dentist. The longer you wait, the more it'll probably hurt in the long run, and the more it can cost if the operation to fix it is extensive (at least in my country, filling a cavity costs almost nothing compared to, say, a root canal). Schedule your appointment soon. -- (talk) 01:34, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Diagnosis removed to talk page--TreeSmiler (talk) 03:30, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

(After ec) I think you both have had really bad dentists. I am not a fan of dentistry, but I haven't been hurt in a dental office in more than 2 decades. (Sometimes my jaw will hurt afterwards, but never during a procedure.) In North America, very few dentists will work on you without anaesthesia. They don't want you leaping and twitching anymore than you want to have cause to leap and twitch. Ask you friends about their dentists, and their experiences. Oh yes, and don't turn down the anaesthetics, though it may add to the cost, even if you are given the choice. There is no need to be in pain, before, during or after. Bielle (talk) 01:49, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
My dentist in California has often advised me to skip the anesthesia when filling a cavity that's not near a nerve. I've always taken him up on it and it's never caused me more than mild pain, much less than the pain and annoyance of the anesthetic itself. So I think it's worth skipping the anesthesia if you have a good dentist. -- BenRG (talk) 08:40, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Well this is a dental question to which we are not supposed to reply but to advise you to visit your dentist ASAP. Im surprised this thread has not been exterminated by the RD police yet.--TreeSmiler (talk) 02:03, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I suspect it has not been deleted because the only dental advice has been to "go and see a dentist". Bielle (talk) 02:29, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I'll add to the suggestions: yes, see a dentist. See a good dentist. Good dentists don't torture you, they bend over backwards figuring out ways of taking care of your teeth without hurting you and without giving you reasons to never come back.
Yes, good dentists cost some money. TANSTAAFL. Your teeth are important, you only get 1½ sets and they have to last your whole life, they're worth taking care of.
Don't feel too bad that you got a cavity, despite your care. Cavities are, unfortunately, nearly inevitable. But a good dentist can help you avoid them, so once again, do see one! —Steve Summit (talk) 02:35, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Take a lesson from William "the Refrigerator" Perry. According to Sports Illustrated, he disliked dentists so much, he kept away from them, until half his teeth rotted out and the remainder all had to be replaced. It would have cost $60,000 if the dentist hadn't done it for free for the publicity. Do it now and save yourself a lot of $$$. Clarityfiend (talk) 02:46, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
What they didn't mention is that he had a hell of a lot of pain while waiting for those teeth to rot. And pain that would make any dentist-caused pain seem like a peck on the cheek. If only for that reason alone, see a dentist. -- JackofOz (talk) 07:05, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Obviously the light was out in that particular fridge. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:07, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
As mentioned by 24, even if you don't let your teeth rot, negligence may entail the necessity of an Endodontic therapy ("root canal"), which you can be sure causes pain and discomfort many orders of magnitude greater than filling a simple hole (and with a price tag to match). You're probably not in that stage yet, but the longer you wait, the worse you get. The only way to prevent unnecessary discomfort at the dentist's is to go see a dentist now. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 12:29, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Although we cannot offer medical advice (I cannot advise something), I will say that some dentists recommend a soft toothbrush (frankly all the dentists I've seen) and you just need to use it properly by gently but thoroughly brushing your teeth. You also might like to find a suitable toothpaste. You say your teeth 'hurt', you could just have sensetive teeth, which I think is related to having low levels of enamel on your teeth. It would be worth seeing a dentist for a checkup and general treatment, and there are toothpastes for sensetive teeth such as Sensodyne. Good luck, and when in doubt, ask a medical professional like a dentist Rfwoolf (talk) 10:39, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Of course, of course, dentist, dentist, dentist! But having your teeth drilled might not be the only way, having herd reference to "teeth healing" in a Japanese tv show I started poking around about it and in a WikiAnswers thing I read that there are tooth paste combinations that you can get from your dentist to attempt to get them to heal but that it is a very long process. I can also point you towards "Act" brand mouthwash that you should of course ask your dentist about because it has xylitol in it (I think thats what it's called) and that is supposed to strengthen your tooth enamel. It helps me personally when I get mild tooth aches. Good Luck.

Jobs in International Politics[edit]

I have a keen interest in international politics and the like, and was wondering what jobs are avaliable in this field (eg diplomat, international reporter etc). Is there such thing as an international lawyer, and if so how hard is it to gain entry (assuming I will be graduating with a law degree recognised in many countries) and how much would they earn? What would be the working conditions of the other jobs with an international slant? (talk) 10:36, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

You could start by looking at the United Nations jobs website here, and following the links from there. --Richardrj talk email 14:25, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
There is no such thing as an "international lawyer". You can be a lawyer (from your country) and then specialize in international law by getting a masters degree or working in another country. In any case, it takes years and years of study before you can start thinking about earning anything.--Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 14:29, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
A lot of countries sport government-funded or contractorlike think tanks which often demand a limited number of people, each with specializations they can use in dealing with their projects. Tanks can be slanted and little more than tools for politicians, rich individuals/corporations, or actually stand to promote new and coherent thoughts around matters in a way that is constructive. That basically means there are good apples, and not so good apples. I can't remember what country 124 (your IP) belongs to, but if you are American, there is a large number of think tanks. The government often makes use of those for shaping their foreign policies, and that sounds like it'd be up your alley. I don't quite know how think tanks work beyond that. (talk) 18:34, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
You might be interested in joining the foreign service of your country's government. They usually take people from all walks of life. --Sean 21:46, 19 January 2008 (UTC)


Do singers train their voice under voice experts or does it come naturally to them?Did they have their BAD singing days? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, singers train their voices by studying with voice teachers, although a certain amount of naturally occurring talent is necessary too, the same as with any other musician. And singers definitely have days when their voices aren't up to snuff; they usually refer to this as being "sick" even though no other symptoms of illness may be present. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 14:22, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
It would be the ideal approach for singers to receive voice training, however, many people who go by the label "singer" or "vocalist" have never had a lesson in their lives, and it shows. -- JackofOz (talk) 23:46, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
It is not necessary to be trained, but There is a remarkable improvement in the voice of a trained singer, it is obvious in those who have natural talent, but have not developed it with vocal training. Everyone wakes up some days with an awful voice; for advice, I'd suggest "Vocalzones" they got me through some singing exams when I had a cold! MHDIV ɪŋglɪʃnɜː(r)d(Suggestion?|wanna chat?) 00:02, 21 January 2008 (UTC)


Are stamps released in Antigua and Tanzania in the public domain, or are they copyrighted? -- Leptictidium (mammal talk!) 14:17, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

I have no idea about the laws in those specific countries, but normally the copying of postage stamps is called forgery. It would seem self-defeating to release the design into the public domain.--Shantavira|feed me 10:15, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Using a calculator's battery[edit]

Suppose one is operating a very simple 8-digit battery-powered pocket calculator and wants to drain the life of the calculator in as short a period of time as possible. Would leaving the screen at "88888888" consume more battery power than, for example, "11111111" as more LED segments are being lit up? Thanks. Acceptable (talk) 18:46, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Very interesting, and something I have thought of too. I think it will, but don't hold your breath -- it probably is only a marginable difference. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
It depends on whether the segments are actually lit or just a different colour. If they are actually lit, I am fairly sure more segments on will consume more power. If they're not, it is all the same - in that case, it is switching between on/off states, not the states themselves, that consumes power. In any case, it will be a very marginal difference. JIP | Talk 20:49, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Just picking nits but I'm fairly certain that you mean LCD and not LED. I don't know of any calculator that uses LEDs. Dismas|(talk) 04:53, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Just wanted to mention that calculators did at one time use LED displays. The TI-30, for example, included a built-in "screensaver" to save power. If no key was pressed in 30 seconds, the screen displayed a decimal point bouncing back and forth. After 10 minutes, it turned off. --Bavi H (talk) 01:36, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Heres a pic Think outside the box 12:13, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

The Cost of Children[edit]

Are there any reliable estimates of how expensive it is to raise a child from conception through college in the United States, on average?

Thank you in advance for any help,

--Grey1618 (talk) 21:35, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Here are figures for 2001 from the United States Department of Agriculture: [1]. You'll find many, many relevant hits just using a Google search for cost to raise a child. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:41, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Don't forget to add in how much twenty years of carefree life is worth. --Sean 22:00, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
They're like Rolls-Royces: if you have to ask, you can't afford them. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 22:07, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Are you sure children and teenagers live a carefree life? --Taraborn (talk) 00:21, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps Sean was referring to the Opportunity cost to the parents. It is their 20 years of (relatively) carefree life that has been lost. Bielle (talk) 00:27, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh... that's true, what a mistake. Thanks Bielle. --Taraborn (talk) 09:18, 20 January 2008 (UTC)