Is Laughing Gas Safe for Kids?

As a parent, you play a key role in your child’s oral health. It’s important you understand the ins-and-outs of standard treatments, techniques, and procedures.

Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is a method of sedation used by dentists. If your dentist has recommended laughing gas for your child’s upcoming procedure, there are a few things you need to know.

What Is Laughing Gas Used For?

Laughing gas isn’t necessary for every procedure or every patient, but it may be helpful in cases where:

  • A patient will undergo a lengthy procedure or multiple procedures in one sitting
  • A patient is exceptionally anxious about their procedure
  • A patient has special needs that affect his or her ability to stay calm and still during a procedure
  • A patient is restless or struggles with sitting in one place without moving

Some of these situations are more common in children, and in those cases, a dentist may recommend laughing gas for a child.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is dental care that’s provided while the patient is under the influence of a mild calming drug. Common calming drugs, like laughing gas, typically start working within five minutes and may last up to six hours.

Laughing gas is one of the most commonly used sedatives in dentistry.

What Is Nitrous Oxide/Laughing Gas?

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is an odorless, colorless gas that’s administered through a small mask. It’s generally regarded as a safe way to mitigate anxiety in both children and adults.

Sedation by nitrous oxide is typically a pleasant experience for the patient. A mask is held to the patient’s nose, the patient breathes through his or her nose, and the sedative begins to take effect.

Laughing gas may make your child feel heavy and sleepy, but it’s unlikely that they’ll fall into a deep sleep during the procedure. Before your child leaves the dentist’s chair, the dentist will place a mask with pure oxygen over their nose to clear out the remaining nitrous oxide.

Encourage your child to eat a light meal or snack before the procedure – a slice of toast or a bagel, for example.

Kool Smiles’ Partner Dentists Offer Great General and Pediatric Dentistry

At Kool Smiles, we’re all about children. We’ve partnered with a network of dentists who focus on providing premium dental care to children and teens. Kool Smiles Kids Club’s partner dentists go the extra mile to help their patients feel comfortable, confident, and respected.

Kool Smiles Partner Dentist offer general and pediatric dental services. If you’d like to discuss laughing gas as a probable solution for your child’s dental care anxiety, a Kool Smiles Kids Club partner dentist will detail the pros and cons of laughing gas, and help you decide if it’s well-suited to meet your child’s needs.