Is Laughing Gas Safe For My Child?
Does your child have a dental phobia? If so, you may want to consider asking their Grand Rapids pediatric dentist about the benefits of nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide (also called laughing gas) helps to relax patients of all ages during procedures so they can get the dental care they need.
To administer laughing gas, your child’s pediatric dentist will gently place a breathing mask over their nose that supplies oxygen mixed with nitrous oxide. Within a few minutes, your child will start to feel relaxed. Not only is dental nitrous oxide safe, but it is quick to act and quick to wear off.
What is laughing gas used for?
Laughing gas can be used for a range of procedures, from cleaning teeth to filling cavities. However, keep in mind that certain procedures may also require local anesthesia to manage pain. Your child’s sedation dentist will be able to manage pain and anxiety so your child can maintain good oral health.
Nitrous oxide is well suited for children who have dental anxiety or have special needs that make it difficult for them to get dental care. If this is the case for your child, you’ll want to talk to your kid’s dentist about whether laughing gas is an option.
Quick to Relax
Nitrous oxide isn’t considered “sleep dentistry” because your child is awake and responsive during the procedure. What nitrous oxide does is help your child relax while sitting in the dentist’s chair so they can get the care they need to maintain a healthy smile. One of the side effects of laughing gas is feeling giddy. As a result, your child may giggle a little during the dental treatment, but still be able to cooperate with the dentist.
At Kingma Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend asking your child why they are afraid of the dentist. For example, some children have dental anxiety because they are afraid of feeling helpless or losing control. Compared with other types of sedation dentistry, nitrous oxide relaxes your child without putting them to sleep.
Quick to Wear Off
Nitrous oxide wears off quickly, which means your child will be able to return to school after their dentist appointment. The calming effect of the nitrous oxide wears off as soon as we remove the breathing mask covering their nose. In contrast, oral sedation would require you keep your child home from school and closely monitor them for the rest of the day. Your child will not experience grogginess or sleepiness after being given laughing gas, which decreases recovery time.
No Lingering Side Effects
Laughing gas is safe for people of all ages because there are no lingering side effects. In fact, adults who are given nitrous oxide are able to drive themselves home after dental procedures. While breathing in laughing gas, your child may feel light-headed or like their limbs are heavy. These symptoms are normal reactions to the nitrous oxide and disappear almost immediately after removing the breathing mask. While breathing in the laughing gas, your child will feel safe and relaxed.
Dr. Kingma DDS and his team at Kingma Pediatric Dentistry are dedicated to helping young patients maintain healthy smiles. If you are interested in learning more about nitrous oxide or our other sedation dentistry services, schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids at (616) 942-9840.