Tempe Dentist, AZ 85283, Family, Cosmetic

Is Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) Safe for Kids During Dentist Visits?

05 Jan, 2023 sedation-dentistry

Child receiving nitrous oxide gas through a mask during dental procedure.At times children require undergoing different types of dental treatments to correct issues that may be present in the gums and teeth. 

How Does Laughing Gas Help With Kid's Dental Treatment?

Although laughing gas is commonly used on adults during procedures, many people are unaware if it's safe for children to use as they spend time in a dental chair. 

There are a few important facts to learn to ensure your child is in safe hands and is prepared for their next dental procedure.

A Safe Option for Kids

Laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, is considered to be safe to use on children and is the most common sedative used on younger patients. 

It is administered to the patient through a small mask that covers the nose, making it easy and comfortable to breathe in during the appointment. 

The mouth is not covered by the mask, which allows the teeth to still be accessible to the pediatric dentist.

Laughing gas is known to have a mild effect on young patients and allows them to feel at ease and relaxed without falling asleep. After the mask is removed, the effects of the laughing gas immediately start to subside. 

Once the appointment is completed, the child will sit and breathe in 100% oxygen to ensure all of the laughing gas is thoroughly removed from their lungs.

Pain-Relieving Properties

Another benefit of using laughing gas is that it has pain-relieving properties, which take the edge off if the child experiences any level of pain or discomfort during the appointment. 

It can even assist the child with having more patience as they wait for the procedure to be completed, which is beneficial for young patients due to their short attention span.

Nitrous oxide gas being administered to a child through a mask for dental sedation.


Although there aren't many risks associated with laughing gas, it's still important for children to arrive with empty stomachs. The laughing gas can cause some children with full stomachs to become nauseous and even vomit. 

Our Tempe dentist will recommend avoiding a large meal for several hours before the appointment. The child may also need to avoid consuming any greasy foods or dairy products.

Limitations of Laughing Gas

Although nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is known to be extremely safe and effective, there are still a few limitations. It works best on children who are mature and old enough to follow instructions and can sit still in the chair while the mask is in place on their faces.

It also doesn't work well if the child starts to cry because the patient will begin to breathe through their mouth instead of the nose. 

Talk to us beforehand to determine if your child is a candidate for this type of inhalation sedation when they require dental work.


Does it Make Kids Laugh?

The most common question related to laughing gas is if it can make you laugh. Only a small percentage of children are prone to laughing and giggling once they begin to inhale it, which can make for a more enjoyable experience.


Due to how safe laughing gas is for children, it's proven to be a great option when your child spends time in a dental chair. Not only will it ease their nerves, but it can allow their dentist to perform the necessary dental work and improve their oral health.