She clutched the arms of the chair hard enough to turn her knuckles white. The dentist office was the place she dreaded most. Footsteps drew closer, and her heart began to pound. She could smell the latex gloves he wore.

“Open wide,” he said, as he lurched forward with the glittering tool in his hand. She could taste the fear in the back of her throat.

After a few minutes of poking and prodding, he and his instrument retreated. He drew the mask towards his chin to reveal a Colgate smile. “Everything looks great.”

She began to breathe again.


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