What are the gold prongs Miss Maudie has in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Miss Maudie has a partial denture that is attached with gold prongs. 

Miss Maudie Atkinson is Scout’s neighbor.  When Scout was younger, she did not really know much about her or have much contact with her.  She let Jem and Scout play in her yard and she was nice enough.  However, as Scout got older she started to need and appreciate a positive, warm and caring female influence in her life. 

When Dill came, it was fun for Scout to have someone her age.  However, he often went off to play with Jem.  At those times, it would have been better for Scout to have another girl around to play with.  However, she became closer with Miss Maudie when the boys were off doing their thing and “Dill was becoming something of a trial.” 

Miss Maudie is often outside because she likes to garden.  Scout likes the fact that she calls the children by their names and treats them with respect.  She shows Scout her teeth.   Scout is very impressed that she can remove her partial denture and feels honored that she showed it to her.

[When] she grinned she revealed two minute gold prongs clipped to her eyeteeth. When I admired them and hoped I would have some eventually, she said, “Look here.” With a click of her tongue she thrust out her bridgework, a gesture of cordiality that cemented our friendship. (Ch. 5)

With this friendship, when Jem and Dill are off hanging out, Scout can spend some quality girl time with Miss Maudie.  She is an excellent neighbor to have, because she doesn’t talk down to the kids and she seems to understand them.  She especially has a soft spot for Scout.  She treats her with dignity and talks to her frankly.

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