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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It is hard to imagine that this 35-year-old mother of two has worn dentures for so long that she has worn them out.
A lifetime of poor dental care has taken its toll. The dentures she has been wearing have broken several times, and re-gluing them isn't going to work much longer, the family's caseworker said.
"The dentures give her mouth sores because they don't sit in her mouth right," the caseworker said. The poor condition of the dentures also impairs her speech.
The single mother manages to work a full-time job, although it pays only minimum wage.
"She's a hard worker," the caseworker said.
She brings home about $1,200 a month, and she is eligible for $398 in food stamps. The father of the children, who are 10 and 12, does not provide support.
The mother puts the two girls' needs before hers, the caseworker said.
"The mother really does try hard, but there's just not a lot extra," she said. "They don't have a lot, but they're very appreciative of what people give them."
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1001 Virginia Street East
Charleston, WV 25301