Is Laughing Gas Safe For Children?

Mar 20, 2023 | Dental FAQs, Pediatric Dentistry

Laughing gas has a reputation as a kind of drug that makes a person laugh while getting their teeth worked on. Unfortunately, this common term, “laughing gas” gives people the wrong impression.

What is Laughing Gas?

Laughing gas is a colloquialism for nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a gas that is used as an anesthetic in medicine and especially in dentistry. Specifically, it’s classified as being a “dissociative anesthetic” because it causes a disassociation that helps patients not feel anxious about the treatment they’re undergoing.

How is Laughing Gas Used in Pediatric Dentistry?

Laughing gas in Fort Collins, CO is offered to young patients with permission from parents. It’s dosed in very, very small amounts because that’s all it takes to help a child relax for things like cavity fillings, and other things that may make them feel afraid.

When your child has laughing gas, they simply relax and feel better. The nitrous oxide doesn’t make them unconscious; it merely takes the edge off a tiny little bit so your child feels calm. In some cases, the nitrous oxide dulls the pain, too, so the whole treatment is more pleasant.

Things to Know About Laughing Gas For Children

  • Laughing gas doesn’t “knock a child unconscious.” If a child closes their eyes, it’s simply because they feel comfortable and relaxed.
  • Your child is awake and aware under laughing gas.
  • There are no needles involved with laughing gas. It’s administered through a small little nose mask.
  • No one turns their back on a child during dental treatment. Unlike with adult dentistry, your child is never left alone, especially when laughing gas is used. Someone is always right by their side. In some cases, if you want to stay with your child during treatment, that’s possible, too.
  • Laughing gas for children has been approved, and is in use around the world. There are no known side effects or issues.

Benefits of Laughing Gas

The benefits of laughing gas for children include less anxiety around dental visits. This can help create an environment where your child is happy to go and cooperate with important dental care. In turn, that can lead to a lifetime of good dental habits.

When you visit your pediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO, ask about nitrous oxide to learn more. Book your child’s next appointment today.