My father's parents came to live with us when I was eight.
Nana was small and brittle, always busy. Not comfortable with children, she used to buy our good behaviour with spoonfuls of honey. She wore an apron with a pocket in the front and it was here she carried her false teeth, only to be put in her mouth when visitors came to the door.
In her early twenties Mum had all her teeth taken out and was fitted with dentures. She told me she had chalky teeth and was tired of going to the dentist on her own since early childhood. She had no mother and none of her many older siblings could be bothered to look after her. So among the memories of my mother is one of a small pink plastic pot into which her dentures were popped at night.
This was the image I carried with me as I discussed with Dr M my brand new partial dentures which he had just placed in my mouth. What did I do with them at night? He told me opinion is divided. In England, dentists suggest taking them out. In France, dentists suggest to women that they always wear their dentures, so that their husbands are blissfully unaware their spouses are toothless. Apparently there is no evidence either way as to which is better.
My mouth feels like it has an entire cutlery drawer in it. I am assured things will improve. In the meantime, I might just get myself an apron with a front pocket.