Nitrous Oxide For Kids – Is It Safe?

a girl after a dental sedation dentistry

In dentistry, nitrous oxide for kids is safe to use. Nitrous oxide is a kind of gas that reduces pain and anxiety during dental treatment. They also refer to nitrous oxide as the happy or laughing gas. The dentist gives it to your child through a nosepiece, which will keep the child awake during the procedure. Once they completed the procedure, your child can recover shortly from the effects of nitrous oxide.

Nitrous oxide is safe for kids. However, the dentist should ask for the consent of the parents before doing anything. The dentist should discuss every single detail about the procedure that the child has to undergo based on their condition.

Nitrous oxide will make your child feel sleepy and relaxed. They might be aware of what’s happening to them during the procedure. However, the sensation from the nitrous oxide will just make them feel dreamy about it. They might even forget everything that has happened during the procedure. You can also take note of the following short-term side effects of exposure to nitrous oxide as explained by the SNK Dental team.


Short-term side effects of nitrous oxide

  1. Your kid might experience excessive sweating during recovery from nitrous oxide exposure.
  2. There is also a possibility of shivering later on.
  3. They may also experience dizziness or vomiting.
  4. Your kids may feel tired or fatigue.

Your child might experience fever, chills, or difficulty in breathing in case there is an allergic reaction. On the condition that symptoms come out due to an allergic reaction, you have to take your child back to their pediatric dentist to address it immediately.


Other types of sedation used in the pediatric dentistry

little girl with sedative during dental careSedatives are widely used now to make the patient relax while receiving their dental care. This applies to all kinds of patients including children. However, it will differ in the amount of application. Here are the other types of sedatives to ease dental stress and anxiety of patients aside from nitrous oxide.

  1. Oral sedatives: Oral sedation can calm your child during their dental care. It is either taken by mouth or through the nose. Oral sedation normally takes time before taking effect so the dentist might let your child take it before the dental appointment. In the case of using oral sedation, your child should not eat or drink anything the night before the appointment.
  2. IV sedation: This type of sedative will require the insertion of a needle into your child’s vein. Either in the arm or the hand. This sedative has a high advantage for long procedures. The dentist can apply more of it to keep your child calm and relaxed.

Parents should know all of the options they have and be completely knowledgeable about them. Every detail should be clear so that they can choose the best sedative appropriate for their child. Going back, does nitrous oxide apply to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder? Let us find it out together.


Common symptoms of the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

Nitrous oxide can also apply during the treatment of TMJ. But, what are the common symptoms to know if your child has this disorder? We got it below for you to help you identify if your child has TMJ disorder.

  1. Ask your kids if they experience pain in their facial muscles, jaw, or around the ear. They could also feel pain in their neck and shoulders.
  2. There could be sounds like popping, clicking, or grating during the opening and closing of their mouth.
  3. They experience difficulty when chewing or biting.
  4. Your kids might also suffer from headaches, dizziness, or ear pain if they have a TMJ disorder.
  5. There is also a possibility for jaw locking.
  6. You might also observe swelling around the TMJ.

With these symptoms, let your dentist know immediately. Earlier diagnosis of this disorder will allow earlier treatment as well. In case that the jaw of your kid is locked up close or open, it would be best to visit an oral surgeon or head on to the emergency room.


Treatment for the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

There are TMJ disorders that only requires resting the jaw for a few days. Parents can do self-care at home for minor TMJ disorders. During this condition, it would be better to give your kids soft foods only.

Additionally, you have to limit your kids from doing activities that could worsen the condition. For instance, chewing gum, teeth grinding or yawning extra widely. In these cases, you can also apply an ice pack or a good amount of heat to ease discomfort.

In case your child is regularly grinding their teeth, it would be best to ask pediatric dentistry to have your child evaluated. This way, you could also work out your child’s habit permanently. Furthermore, parents can also teach their kids some jaw exercises to ease discomfort. Only make sure that these exercises are suitable to your children’s condition.

It is equally important to monitor the child’s stress and anxiety level. This can also add up to the discomfort felt by your children aside from the other symptoms.


What’s best in pediatric dentistry?

Bringing your child to a pediatric dentist has its advantage. A pediatric dentist has the complete package to address your child’s dental needs. Pediatric dentistry includes training and education about a child’s needs to maintain good oral health condition.

kids on trampoline with their healthy smilesMoreover, a pediatric dentist knows exactly what to do to help your children relax. Aside from the knowledge of which sedative to use, they also studied the proper approaches on how to make children feel comfortable inside a dental clinic. The clinic of a pediatric dentist is child-friendly. The clinic has an atmosphere that welcomes children and looks appealing to kids. This way, children will not feel any stress or anxiety.

With attention to dental appointments, parents should also take part in providing their children with advanced knowledge about it. In effect, the kids will no longer be surprised or overwhelmed with what can happen inside a dental clinic.

It is important to let your kids know the importance of having a good oral health condition. Visit this page to see dental and orthodontic treatments for children.

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