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5 March 2017

There are times when I get reminded that we age in different ways. Several years ago I was about to have a general anesthetic, I’d been given the pre-op sedative and was drowsy when the quite young nurse arrived, and tried to open my mouth. I blinked up.
“What’re you doing?”
“I need to take your teeth out.”
“They’re mine,” I mumbled, reasonably as I thought.
The response was in a tone suitable for replying to a rather dim three-year-old. “I know, dear. I won’t take them away, they’ll be right here beside your bed when you come back.”
“You don’t understand, they’re mine.”
The tone was now definitely patronising. “Yes, dear, of course they are…”
A burst of irritated adrenalin woke me right up. “No, I mean they really are MINE! I don’t have false teeth.”
I received a rather disbelieving look. “What, not even a bridge?”
The nurse left – slowly – giving the impression she’d like to pry my mouth open and double-check that just in case. She would have found that it was. Unlike a lot of those of my age/generation I have my own teeth, not all of them, I’m missing half a dozen but I find no need for a bridge. However it seems that it may not be usual and the the default assumption seems to be that anyone my age automatically doesn’t have their own teeth. Otherwise why wouldn’t she ask, instead of trying to open my mouth and stick a hand in. And, considering my being somewhat sedated, she was lucky I woke up and asked, or she might succeeeded – and lost a finger.


  1. Living on the farm means you don’t eat the sugar laced rubbish the rest of us eat that destroy teeth. I can understand why some people might not get that.

    Comment by Rodney Marsden — 8 March 2017 @ 13:27

  2. It’s basic courtesy to ask, whether they assume a person might have false teeth or not?

    Comment by Glenn — 12 March 2017 @ 09:11

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