Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is most often used for children who are slightly nervous. It is a gas that is delivered with oxygen to help your child relax and receive treatment comfortably and safely. Nitrous oxide is administered by placing a small mask over your child’s nose.


Your child will be asked to breathe through his or her nose and not through the mouth. As the gas begins to work, the child becomes calm, although he or she is still awake and can talk with the dentist. When the gas is turned off, the effects of sedation wear off almost immediately.


Nitrous oxide is always delivered mixed with oxygen.


When the treatment has been completed, the nitrous oxide is turned off and pure oxygen is delivered for 5 to 10 minutes to help flush the child’s body of the gas. The effects of nitrous oxide should disappear as oxygen is breathed in.