Behind the laughing gas of pediatric sedation dentistry.

Bringing your child into the dentist may elicit a range of feelings depending on their previous experiences, but if they have even a little bit of trauma associated with the dentist, they may have a full-blown fear or extreme anxiety when they have to go back to the dentist’s office.

Anthem Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Henderson, supports kids who may have a fear of going to the dentist with a variety of sedation dentistry practices. Learn more about nitrous oxide in today’s post.

Pediatric Sedation Dentistry: Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide has been used in dentistry spanning a century and is safe and effective, even for our littlest patients. At our Henderson pediatric dental office, we use nitrous oxide as a part of our sedation repertoire to make a child’s experience with the dentist a positive one.

What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a gas that has a pleasantly sweet smell and is colorless in appearance. Kids can safely breathe it in without any long-term concerns while keeping them comfortable and helping to put them at ease during dental procedures such as cleanings, fillings, etc.

When is Nitrous Oxide Used?

Our dental staff will always check with the parent or caregiver before nitrous oxide is used. Nitrous oxide is provided to our pediatric dental patients who have fear and anxiety surrounding dental care as one of the mildest forms of sedation dentistry available. There are no shots or IVs used, children simply breathe it in.

This form of sedation relaxes the child without putting them to sleep. Instead, they feel relaxed, tingly, and often get a floating sensation. Nitrous oxide is nicknamed laughing gas as a result of a giggly feeling people can get from the gas.

Depending on how your child responds, the laughing gas is tailored to them — it can be easily adjusted up or down to make their experience optimal.

Are There Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous is extremely safe. However, there is always the possibility that some kids will have a reaction, though it’s very uncommon.

Short-Term Effects – There are instances when kids can inhale too much nitrous oxide, which results in nausea and vomiting. Kids can also experience dizziness, sweating, and shivering that will likely reside shortly after the sedative wears off.

Long-Term Effects – Nitrous oxide wears off very quickly so there are typically no long-term effects.

At the end of the day, nitrous oxide is gentle enough to be used with our smallest patients, and the side effects — if any — are mild, reversible, and resolve very quickly.

Helping Your Child Understand Nitrous Oxide

If your child is already anxious about going to the dentist, getting nitrous oxide may be triggering to them. Before the appointment, you can talk with your child about what nitrous oxide is and how they will get it. Many times children are given a special breathing mask that may be kid-friendly and shaped like an elephant or another animal.

Before the procedure, staff members will talk to your child about the nitrous oxide and explain it to them once again. At Anthem Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Henderson, we always allow parents and caregivers back into treatment rooms so you’re more than welcome to hold your child’s hand to help them stay more relaxed.

Once the procedure is completed and the nitrous oxide is turned off, oxygen is run through to help clear your child’s lungs of the sedative.

Because nitrous oxide is so mild, fasting before a procedure is typically not needed, and eating beforehand is generally accepted.

Is Nitrous Oxide Right For Your Child?

Nitrous oxide is one of the mildest forms of sedation we use and is great for kids who are uneasy at the dentist. If your child has had an unpleasant experience or is nervous about their first visit, we can address the benefits of nitrous oxide. As we’ve explored, nitrous oxide has very little side effects, and is great to help calm your child, making them feel relaxed.

As a parent or caregiver, you can always make the call, but we’re here to answer any questions you may have or make recommendations.

To learn more about pediatric sedation dentistry, connect with our Henderson office today!