Is Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) Safe For Toddlers And Children?


How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless gas commonly referred to as “laughing gas.” It consists of two nitrogen atoms and one oxygen atom bonded together. Studies indicate that it reduces a patient’s perception of pain and increases the release of dopamine. Laughing gas is commonly used in pediatric dentistry as it helps anxious patients relax and feel comfortable during a dental procedure.


Is Laughing Gas Safe For My Child?

The nitrous oxide used in medical and dental settings is very safe, even for toddlers and young children. The soft, rubbery masks dentists use to administer the gas first delivers pure oxygen, followed by a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. The limited exposure produces effects that reduce pain and help the patient relax during a procedure, while the patient is fully awake and breathing on their own. The concentration can be controlled and titrated by the dentist for the desired results. As soon as the procedure is complete, a child breathes 100% oxygen through the mask, to clear the nitrous oxide from their system. In rare cases (only one in every two hundred patients), it may cause temporary side effects like headaches, shivering, sweating, nausea, or fatigue.


We Can Answer All Your Questions About Laughing Gas

If you’d like to know more about the effects of laughing gas and its uses in pediatric dentistry, we are happy to answer your questions! Give us a call or send us an email to schedule an appointment so that we can discuss this and any other dental health concerns you may have.



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