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Tips for Dentist Trip Will Work for Kids

November 24, 1996

Thank you to Shari Roan for her tips on great first dental visits for kids ("Kid-Friendly Dental Visits," Nov. 13). I have been a pediatric dentist for almost four decades, and I will testify that the seemingly small things Roan suggests are really important. A good first visit is produced by all the little details she lists.

First among these, I would place the importance of never using the word "hurt" in conversation with a child about the dental experience. Many think it is appropriate to use this word in a reassuring context ("The dentist won't hurt you"), but even speaking the word in the new, uncertain atmosphere of the dental office has a real, always negative, effect.

WILLIAM R. SNAER, DDS

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