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Would it be appropriate to reply to someone saying "I'm going to the dentist" with "Good Luck"? I think it's slightly odd... What would be a natural reply for that?

Thanks in advance. :)

  • Is there some context to this? Is this something that someone said to you, or did you hear someone else say this? Does the person saying "good luck" know why the other is going to the dentist? – James K Dec 25 '18 at 8:45
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The natural reply should be something like "Bye" or "Come back soon", depending on who is replying.

Good luck

This is because of the fact that many children are scared of the dentist, and thus the other person says "Good luck"

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We say "good luck" when we wish someone success: Good luck in your test! Good luck with the conference! Good luck in your efforts!

If it comes to treatment, a person may need success too. So, if someone says "Good luck" in this situation, it means they wish successful treatment. In this article about what not to say (and what to say) to people with cancer, you can read the following:

...says Martin Raber, M.D., clinical professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology... "But I also say 'Good luck' or 'I hope things go well for you today' to patients in casual encounters."

Here you can read about what to say or write to someone before they undergo surgery. Here's one of the wishes:

Don’t worry! You are in the hand of best professionals. So, there is nothing to be worried. You’ll see that you will recover soon and we all are visiting you there. Good luck!

So, yes, we can say "Good luck" to someone who is going to get medical treatment, including dental one.

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