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Promising Relationship Fades With Man's Missing Smile

DEAR ABBY: I need your advice. I'm a 66-year-old woman who has been single most of my life. I am semi-retired and don't look or act my age.

I recently met the man of my dreams on a dating app. We are the same age, and the attraction is mutual. However, there's one thing I'm having trouble with. He lives on Social Security, which is OK, but he has no upper teeth. He lost his false teeth. His bottom teeth are rotten, and he has no intention of replacing them.

I would be willing to pay for his teeth, but because I'm not sure how to approach the subject, I have decided not to see him anymore. We have agreed to stay in contact by texting. I don't know how to handle this. Can you help me? -- TURNED OFF IN VIRGINIA

DEAR TURNED OFF: Your ideal man has more problems than having lost his uppers. His lack of attention to dental hygiene is a danger to his health. If you care about him, point it out. And when you do, explain that there are low-cost options for getting treatment -- such as contacting a school of dentistry where students treat patients under the supervision of qualified professors. If his problem is fear of dentists, that can be dealt with too.

Rather than write any checks to pay for his new teeth, encourage him to be more proactive in taking care of himself. If you do, you'll be doing him a favor.

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