Junior winner Nic Favaro, age 11, Claremont Fan Court, Esher, Surrey
I've never had trouble with my dentist before. But after this experience I will never forget him again.I know what you're thinking. Having teeth out sounds pretty boring. It happens to everyone. But how I had them out? I don't think so.
I went to the dentist feeling so nervous. My knees were shaking. My heart was like a loud drum. I kept telling myself it's OK, you'll be fine. But I would never have agreed to having my teeth out if I had known what was about to happen.
There were children playing on the floor with toys, while I waited on a hard, cold chair. I envied them for their happiness. Most of them had probably never been to the dentist, let alone had a tooth out!
After 20 minutes - which felt like years - a sweet voice said, "Favaro?" My mum called, "Yes". Now my heart was really pounding. Like a 7.0 on the Richter scale. The assistant's smile looked fake. I shivered like I was in a blizzard. Then there was the squeaking of the door's rusty hinges, "Eeeeeeeeeeer." I shivered again.
Inside, the new equipment twinkled in the sunlight. It looked more like Frankenstein's laboratory.
"Sit down, Nicolas," said Dr Bolding.
I felt the chair sinking; I've always hated that part. The dazzling light blinded me. It was like having a million spotlights on me at once. "OK. Let's begin." I could have sworn there was pity in his voice.
I gulped. He shielded my eyes. I caught a glimpse of a huge syringe. I gulped again. He turned the light brighter so I couldn't see anything at all. The assistant held my hand and the dentist began his deed.
He pierced me on the right side of my top inner lip with the syringe (now this was unexpected!). I clutched the assistant's hand. It stung like a thousand bee stings. After a minute, he did the same on the left.
"This will sting a bit more," he said after another minute. I gulped again.
Now he pierced me on my top right gum. I clutched the assistant's hand even tighter. He wasn't kidding. It hurt much more!!! Next he pierced me in my top left gum. 30 seconds went by and I wanted to stab him.
Now everything felt fat and numb from the inside of my mouth to my nose. I felt so stupid. Next, he turned the light down so that I could see for a change. Then he got out something that looked like a cross between a pair of tweezers and a wrench. He put it around my first canine. I thought, it won't hurt too much since everything is numb. Yeah, right.
He said "all you'll feel is a slight push on your tooth". I could actually feel him wrenching it out. I clutched the assistant's hand so tight that I cut off her circulation. When the tooth finally came out I was feeling pretty rotten. Then he started on the next tooth. Ouch, ouch, ouch! I just wanted to SCREAM!!!! That was it. I am never having another tooth out again.
After the second tooth came out, he stuck two pieces of cotton on the bleeding parts and told me to bite hard. I almost bit them in half. As I left the room, he smiled at me. I felt like glaring.
In the car, my mum asked me, "Now that wasn't so bad, was it?" The typical question every loving parent has to ask after the child has gone through something they thought was going to be the worst thing on earth.
I still had the cotton in my mouth and my lip was still numb so I couldn't really speak very well. I felt like saying, "It wasn't bad, mum, IT WAS TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!" But all I managed was, "Miph mophmoph maf muf. Mif moff moffifle!!!!!!!!!!"
* Nic, who came to the United Kingdom from the United States when he was a year old, wrote his account of a painful visit to the dentist as a diary entry last summer. His teacher, David Ford, had asked his pupils to record outstanding days during the holidays. "It was", says Nic, "a particularly memorable day" when he was subjected to major orthodontic work. "If something can be made fun of, I do." He has a full life. "I play the piano and the cello and I try to write for fun in my spare time, but the summer term is busy. Year 6 are doing a production of 'The Wizard of Oz' and I'm the Tin Man," he says. His is a mixed independent, five-to-18 school, where, says David Ford, there are several talented boy writers. Nic will be going back to live in Connecticut in two years' time.