Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety in children. Administered through a small mask that fits over your child’s nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety. Your child will be asked to breathe through his or her nose and not through the mouth. As the gas begins to work, your child will become calm, although he or she will still be awake and able to interact with us.
At the end of your child’s appointment, he or she will breathe 100% oxygen, and all the effects of laughing gas will disappear. No special precautions are necessary from the use of the laughing gas. As your child gets older and becomes more comfortable during dental visits, nitrous oxide may not be necessary.
The laughing gas does not usually work for kids less than two years old and may not be effective for more anxious or sensitive kids. We will discuss other options for treatment if we are not successful in treating your child's dental needs with laughing gas.