Laughing gas is a light sedative that can help ease your child’s fear and anxiety at the dentist. It is a safe way to calm children when undergoing something that may seem scary, and it typically used during procedures like cavity fillings. Although it may seem intimidating to parents, it does not harm your child in any way, and may even lessen a child’s gag reflexes that interfere with dental treatments.

What is laughing gas?

Laughing gas is the safest sedative in dentistry and can be given in various doses and concentrations. It is simply a combination of two gases – oxygen and nitrous oxide. Your child will receive laughing gas through a mask that covers the nose throughout the duration of their treatment. Once the mask is removed and your child begins breathing in oxygen again it will eliminate the nitrous oxide and the laughing gas will have no lingering effect.

How will my child feel while breathing in laughing gas?

laughing gas mask on a patientYour child will be able to choose their own aroma, ranging from grape, strawberry, vanilla and more. As soon as the mask is placed over their nose they will smell their chosen scent and start feeling relaxed. It begins working quickly and allows your child to remain fully conscious and maintain all of their normal reflexes. Since it is called laughing gas, it may make your child feel giddy or feel a bit of tingling in their arms and legs. Laughing gas raises your child’s threshold for pain and keeps them calm during what may be a stressful procedure.

Does laughing gas work for all children?

Laughing gas may not work on all children and dentists are all well aware that every child is different. If your child has severe anxiety the gas may not be effective enough to help your child. Other problems occur when your child can’t breathe through their nose due to congestion or when they don’t want to use the mask. Because laughing gas enters through the nose it is important that they are able to breathe it in.
To make an appointment with your child’s dentist or if you have other questions about laughing gas, contact us here.