Notes from a caregiver’s diary… If the teeth fit, keep them in!

3. Image-false-teethThis experience began innocently enough with a trip to the family cottage for Thanksgiving weekend. Plans also included a family dinner at my brother and sister-in-law’s on Sunday, and I was taking my parents up north for a quiet fall weekend at their cottage.

We were late leaving the city and stopped for a dinner of wings and fries. Not healthy, but filling and… Len’s favourite meal! As the order of chicken wings arrived, Mary and I noticed Len was having a bit of difficulty with his dinner.

That’s when we discovered he had “lost” his bottom dentures. Where and when they had been lost – that was a bit more difficult to figure out. Undaunted, Len gummed his way through the wings, fries, carrot sticks and celery, before we continued to the cottage.

For the rest of the evening, the missing teeth were the topic of discussion. Where could they be? What if we don’t find them? Do you know how long it will take to get new teeth? How will Len be able to eat Thanksgiving dinner?

First thing on Saturday morning, I called ‘the club” — the Adult Day Programme Len attends three days a week —  to ask if they had found the teeth. Unfortunately, NO!

Then, we thought they could be in Len’s travel bag – the one he uses when he stays overnight at the “club” every Wednesday night. After a couple of panic calls to my brother, he finally called us from Mary and Len’s house to say the missing teeth had been located.

What a relief…Thankgiving dinner would not have to be pureed.

On Sunday, we arrived in Orangeville and the teeth were returned to their rightful owner. Whew! They fit and were declared good enough to use for dinner!

Someone suggested we figure out a way to install strings on Len’s teeth (like the ones we used to have on our mittens when we were little), so they wouldn’t get lost again.

But the real puzzle was… if we hadn’t gone for wings, how long would it have taken for us to realize Len was only working with half a set of teeth??

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