4 Benefits of Nitrous Oxide If Your Child Has Dental Anxiety

4 Benefits of Nitrous Oxide If Your Child Has Dental Anxiety

Nitrous oxide has been in use for more than 150 years, and it remains the most common method of dental sedation in children today. You probably had nitrous oxide as a kid, and you might be wondering if it’s still really the best choice for kids with dental anxiety today. 

The answer is a resounding “yes!” The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry calls nitrous oxide a safe and effective method of dental sedation. Here at Kids Dental Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, our pediatric dentist Bosede Adeniji, DDS, and our compassionate team offer several sedation dentistry options, but nitrous oxide is by far the one we use the most in our office. 

We want you to know how nitrous oxide can help your child with their dental anxiety. Soon, both you and your child will feel much more relaxed about dental care. 

1. Led by your child 

Many kids have significant apprehension around nearly everything found in a doctor’s or dentist’s office. So, of course, their anxiety spikes when they see needles or when a medical provider administers treatments. 

But, with nitrous oxide, kids who are old enough to hold the mask can do so themselves. This makes kids feel like they’re in control and can help lessen anxiety around treatment, even before they take their first breath.

2. Works quickly

One of the best features of nitrous oxide is its fast onset. Once your child starts breathing it in, they'll usually feel the effects in just a couple of minutes. Nitrous oxide works much faster than oral medications and even injected ones. 

3. Deep relaxation

Nitrous oxide does much more than just take the edge off your child’s anxiety. It actually gives your child a sense of deep relaxation and calmness. They may become drowsy, but with nitrous oxide, your child is still conscious and able to communicate with our team during their treatment. 

Some kids feel positively buoyant and become giggly, which is exactly the opposite of the anxiety they had when they walked in. 

4. Wears off fast

Nitrous oxide wears off almost as quickly as it takes effect. Once we shut off the flow of the gas and remove the mask, your child will start returning to normal very fast. We monitor them closely for several minutes in our office to make sure they’re feeling like themselves again before you head home. 

There’s also one bonus benefit we couldn’t resist adding: Nitrous oxide often makes kids (and adults) forget about their procedure. They remember the part where they put the mask on, but that’s usually about it. So, this brief amnesia is your child’s friend when it comes to dental anxiety. 

With the help of nitrous oxide, your child’s future dental treatments can be easier than you ever thought they could be for both of you.  

Need to schedule a filling or other dental treatment for your child? Call us at 301-345-2881 or reach out online to schedule the easiest dental visit they’ve ever had.

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