Laughing gas is an inhaled sedative made from a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen, better known as nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide has been anesthetizing dental patients for over a century. It’s especially popular for kids. But is laughing gas safe for children?
Here are the facts…
Nitrous oxide is not the same as numbing shots – Your child would also need local anesthetic to make their mouth numb. Nitrous oxide can make it easier for them to calmly receive the injection.
Laughing gas helps kids relax – The whole point of having laughing gas is to make a child feel at ease. Some children are more nervous than others. Very young kids in particular may be terrified because they don’t understand what’s going on. Nitrous helps children sit still and not have to suffer needless anxiety.
Nitrous is completely reversible – Within moments of shutting off the gas flow, kids start to return to their normal selves with no lasting effects.
Side-effects are few and rare with laughing gas – About 0.5% of children may experience some nausea or vomiting as a result of nitrous oxide, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. You can reduce the risk of this effect by feeding your child only a light meal a couple hours before the appointment.
There are few risks with laughing gas when it’s administered by a trained professional. The benefits far outweigh the small chance of a negative side-effect. Kids have been receiving nitrous oxide in the dental office for years, with a great record of effectiveness.
Nitrous oxide is safe for kids! To find out whether laughing gas is right for your child, talk to your local family dentist about sedation dentistry using nitrous oxide.
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