Dental Tips Blog


Nitrous Oxide for Kids

Going to the dentist can be scary for anyone, especially children.  One common method of relaxation in the dental field is the use of a light sedation gas with anesthetic called nitrous oxide or “laughing gas.”   Nitrous Oxide has proven to relieve anxiety and is safe for patients of all ages.

Nitrous oxide is given through a mask over the nose and is mixed with oxygen.  This laughing gas will allow your child to feel comfortable and completely relaxed during a dental procedure.

Along with feeling relaxed, your child’s pain threshold will be raised too.  A numbing medication will still usually be administered, however.  Your child will still be conscious, although they feel a bit sleepy.  Once the dental procedure is complete, the nitrous oxide is turned off and your child will breathe in pure oxygen for three to five minutes to help the light effects of sedation to wear off.

What are some benefits of nitrous oxide? 

  • Your child can be relaxed  and comfortable during a dental procedure, allowing the dentist to perform the dental procedure more efficiently and effectively
  • Decreased gag reflex
  • Effective and safe to use on children
  • Fast onset, adjustable, and reversible
  • Most children generally tolerate it well

Keep in mind that your child should not have anything to eat or drink two hours prior to the dental procedure with nitrous oxide.  This will help them to not feel nauseous while they are sleepy.

Does your child have dental anxiety?  Do you want your child to have a relaxing experience at the dentist?  Ask your child’s dentist if nitrous oxide is an option for your child at their next dental appointment!

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339

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