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 one option to help anxious patients relax and feel comfortable during a dental procedure, or even during a routine dental appointment.
Is Laughing Gas Safe For My Child?
The nitrous oxide used in a medical setting is very safe, even for toddlers and young children. The 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. In rare cases (only one in every two hundred patients), it may cause temporary side effects like headaches, shivering, sweating, nausea, or fatigue.