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Laughing Gas for Kids at the Dentist; How is Nitrous Oxide Used in Pediatric Sedation Dentistry?

Smile Reef

Depending on their previous experiences, bringing your child into the dentist may elicit a range of feelings. However, some children may have a full-blown fear or extreme anxiety when they have to go back to the dentist’s office if they have even a little bit of trauma associated with the dentist. To help your child get safe dentistry, nitrous oxide is often brought up as an option. Many people want to know if nitrous oxide is safe. Today, we at Smile Reef would like to further discuss nitrous oxide.

Pediatric Dentists Use Nitrous Oxide for Sedation

Even for our littlest patients, Nitrous Oxide is safe and effective as it has been used in dentistry spanning a century. To make a child’s experience with the dentist a positive one, nitrous oxide as a part of our sedation repertoire is a useful tool. With a pleasantly sweet smell, Nitrous oxide is a gas that is colorless. While keeping them comfortable and helping to put them at ease during dental procedures such as cleanings, fillings, and so forth, kids can safely breathe it in without any long-term concerns. Before nitrous oxide is used, our dental staff will always check with the parent or caregiver. As one of the mildest forms of sedation dentistry available, Nitrous Oxide is provided to our pediatric dental patients who have fear and anxiety surrounding dental care. Children simply breathe it in as there are no shots or IVs used. Without putting them to sleep, this form of sedation relaxes the child. They feel relaxed, tingly, and often get a floating sensation commonly. As a result of a giggly feeling people can get from the gas, Nitrous Oxide is nicknamed laughing gas. The laughing gas is tailored to them since it can be easily adjusted up or down to make their experience optimal depending on how your child responds.

Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous is extremely safe. Though it’s very uncommon, there is always the possibility that some kids will have a reaction, however.
Effects Short-Term: It can result in nausea and vomiting, there are instances when kids can inhale too much nitrous oxide. After the sedative wears off, kids can also experience dizziness, sweating, and shivering that will likely reside shortly.
Effects Long-Term: There are typically no long-term effects, Nitrous Oxide wears off very quickly. The side effects, if any, are mild, reversible, and resolve very quickly since Nitrous Oxide is gentle enough to be used with our smallest patients.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Affect Children?

Getting nitrous oxide may be triggering to them if your child is already anxious about going to the dentist. You can talk with your child about what nitrous oxide is and how they will get it prior to the appointment. Usually, children are given a special breathing mask that may be kid-friendly and shaped like an elephant or another animal. Staff members will talk to your child about the nitrous oxide and explain it to them once again before the procedure. Oxygen is run through to help clear your child’s lungs of the sedative once the procedure is completed and the nitrous oxide is turned off. Fasting before a procedure is typically not needed and eating beforehand is generally accepted since nitrous oxide is so mild.

Pediatric Dentristy

Ultimately, nitrous oxide can help your anxious child better endure their trip to the dentist. No matter the accommodations your child needs to fulfill their dentistry needs, Smile Reef can help ensure their oral care is superior. Call us today to schedule your appointment in the Las Vegas, NV Valley.

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