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Nitrogen Oxide is Safe and Helps Anxious Kids Get the Dental Care They Need

Nearly 25% of children and teens struggle with dental anxiety that’s severe enough to prevent them from getting the routine dental care they need.

Their anxiety may begin when they hear others talk about negative dental experiences. Or they may have an anxiety disorder that overshadows many aspects of their life, including going to the dentist.

Many children just don’t like instruments being put in their mouth, people hovering over their head or the common noises and odors in a dental office. These sensations and circumstances can trigger anxiety in many children, but they can be intolerable to children with sensory issues or developmental disabilities.

Dental Kidz Club works closely with parents and their anxious children. Nothing is more important than giving them a positive experience in the dental office.

Each time they have a good experience, they can build on their success and learn to overcome their anxiety. One of the safest ways we can help give children a good experience is by giving them nitrogen oxide.

Top 5 reasons to give nitrogen oxide

Nitrogen oxide, also called nitrous oxide or laughing gas, has been used in pediatric dentistry for decades. Children simply inhale the pleasant-smelling gas, and then it quickly takes effect, helping them relax and making them feel happy rather than distressed.

Here are the top five reasons you can feel confident letting your child have nitrogen oxide during their dental procedures:

1. It’s safe

Nitrogen oxide has an exceptional safety record in children. Side effects appear in fewer than 1% of all patients, and when they do occur, the most common problems are nausea and vomiting.

Adverse effects are rare, because virtually none of the gas is metabolized. Nitrogen oxide leaves your child’s body through the lungs in the same form as when it was inhaled. 

2. Doses are precise

Though nitrogen oxide is a gas, your child doesn’t simply breathe in a random amount. The equipment is designed to deliver a precise dose.

The delivery systems are also equipped with safety features. For example, nitrogen oxide is given together with oxygen. A built-in fail-safe system turns the device off if oxygen levels change.

3. It alleviates pain and anxiety

Nitrous oxide works on several levels, all of which make the dental experience more pleasant for children.

In addition to alleviating pain, it reduces anxiety and boosts relaxation. At the same time, your child stays awake and can respond to verbal questions and commands. In many cases, nitrous oxide produces just enough amnesia to make them forget the details of the procedure.

With the support of nitrogen oxide, children learn that they don’t need to fear dental work. And they can gain confidence in their ability to tolerate dental checkups and procedures.

4. It works fast and leaves quickly

After your child inhales nitrogen oxide, it dissolves in their blood, quickly reaches their brain, and has an impact within minutes. This has the distinct advantage of calming children quickly. They don’t have to wait around, giving their anxiety time to grow. Instead, they immediately relax.

When the treatment is over, the effects of nitrogen oxide wear off just as quickly. The gas is eliminated every time they exhale. Once we remove the mask and they stop inhaling the nitrogen oxide, it’s out of their system in a matter of minutes.

5. It’s well tolerated by most children

Most children tolerate the mask and enjoy the light, pleasant scent of the gas. Furthermore, we plan ahead of time. We show them the mask and let them try it on during an earlier appointment. We do our best to ensure that they’re well prepared and have a good experience with nitrogen oxide on the day of their procedure.

However, we do know that some children may be uncomfortable with a mask over their nose. Others may not like the odor of the gas, or they may be uncomfortable with the euphoric feeling. And still, others may have anxieties that are too overwhelming for nitrogen oxide. If this is the case, we can talk with you about other sedation options.

To learn more about using nitrogen oxide for children’s dentistry, book an appointment over the phone with Dental Kidz Club today.

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