child smiles after her pediatric dentist appointment with nitrous oxide

What to Know About Nitrous Oxide for Children’s Dental Anxiety

Does your child experience dental anxiety before appointments? Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “happy gas” or “laughing gas” can be administered to help curb your child’s anxiety without putting them to sleep.

At Kids Smiles, we’re proud to be a pediatric dentist providing nitrous oxide to make children feel more comfortable during routine exams or treatments. Ensuring that your child is comfortable, happy and healthy is most important to us!

How does nitrous oxide sedation in pediatric dentistry work?

Nitrous oxide has a mild sedative effect when administered in small doses. If your child would benefit from nitrous oxide, your experienced Kids Smiles dentist will attach a nose piece to your child to administer the gas. (This doesn’t cover their mouth.) Your child will be fully awake throughout the procedure or exam!

In most cases, children will immediately feel the effects of nitrous oxide and experience a warm, tingly feeling. This often makes children laugh a lot and experience a euphoric sensation. Children then feel relaxed enough to endure the scheduled treatment without anxiety.

We will constantly monitor your child’s mild sedation and prompt them to follow simple instructions to demonstrate their consciousness.

How long does nitrous oxide last?

It can take as little as 5 minutes for the sedation effects to wear off once we stop administering nitrous oxide. As it wears off, your child may feel giggly and a little confused; this is normal. They may not even remember the procedure, which can help prevent future dental anxiety!

Our experienced team will continue to monitor your child as they come down from the laughing gas effects. We will ensure that they are safe and healthy following treatment.

Some children feel nauseous after laughing gas is administered, but this should go away within an hour or so. If this occurs, keep them hydrated with water and/or soup. If your child vomits twice within the hour following laughing gas, please give us a call and we can advise you on next steps.

We use a “tell, show, do” philosophy.

At Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we follow a “tell, show, do” philosophy to keep you and your child informed every step of the way. Dental anxiety is normal for kids and adults! 

  1. First, we “tell” by explaining the next step in words that your child understands. 
  2. Then we “show” them what we will be doing. It may be using an instrument on their finger. 
  3. Then, we “do” the procedure. 

We’ve found that this is the best way to earn your child’s trust and minimize anxiety!

Our team is led by renowned pediatric dentist Dr. Frank Sierra who has more than 25 years of experience providing compassionate, expert care for children and teens. When you’re with our team, you’re in the most experienced hands.

Still have questions about pediatric nitrous oxide?

We’re here to answer your questions! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. 

Dr. Sierra, Dr. Kwon, Dr. Patel and our team are here to help guide you and your child. We offer kinder, gentler dentistry for kids and teens. It is our goal that your child develops and maintains a positive association with dental care and we do everything we can to create a pleasant, supportive, and fun environment for our little patients.

Ready to schedule an appointment? Let’s get started. Visit us in Town ‘n’ Country, South Tampa, North Tampa or Bradenton