Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sometimes you just gotta laugh

     Not too long ago, Mom told our family her partial denture was lost. She swore she put it in the same place as always as she went off to bed. Yet the next day, my father and brother searched high and low without the pink of acrylic gums or white of acrylic tooth to be seen. Dad emptied trash cans, spilling contents out and sifting through to see if perhaps Mom might have accidentally thrown it out.
     They searched under couches, pillows and rugs. They sat back exhausted, their efforts in vain as I made another dental appointment for Mom to take impressions for a new partial.
     Mom jokingly said, "I think it was Kitty or Mya, the dog. I think they took it and were playing with it." We all shook our heads snickering a bit, wondering just what would a dog or cat do with teeth? Wear them perhaps?
     Time passed, Mom got her new teeth and all was well with the world, Until about a week ago when she announced they were missing once again. This time I was visiting as well. The search was on. We overturned every item in the house. We retraced steps like Jack Bauer in "24." Nothing. Not until Dad picked up a favorite sweater of Mom's and announced, "Here they are." Ahhh, the pocket. The source of many a shriveled kleenex and other assorted brick- a- brack.. This time it housed the partial, still intact. I think Dad felt a bit smug that day, as he heralded himself as champion.
     Hold on. You may be thinking, oh, it's just one of those things. Parents getting forgetful, etc, etc. Until today when I visited them once again. Dad met me at the door, putting a finger to his lips. "Shhhh," he said. "I have a story to tell you, but don't tell anyone else."
     I wondered what on earth he did.What secret would I have to uphold now? Dad proceeded to tell me he laid his denture in its usual spot last evening. At least that's what he thought he did. When he awoke this morning, no denture was to be found. Hmmm, maybe he left them in another convenient spot. He retraced his steps, a bit embarrassed at doing the same thing he'd teased my mother about not so long ago. Checking this place and that, he came up empty when at last, he spotted them on the living room floor.
     We chuckled together, he and I, as he realized Mya, the dog, indeed must have snatched them from an unusual spot. They were no worse for wear, no pun intended, and after cleaning them as thoroughly as possible, he proceeded to smile a huge smile at me, showing me his full compliment of teeth once again.
     I've worked in the dental field for over thirty years. We warn partial and denture patients all the time not to leave their prosthetics anywhere a dog can get to them. For a plastic item with the scent of food is a most awesome doggy toy.
     As I left my parents house today, I pictured Mya with a set of dentures in her mouth. I could swear she winked at me when I said goodbye.

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