Happy Gas Brisbane

Managing children’s dental anxiety

To enjoy good oral health and a healthy smile, your children need to learn good dental habits at a young age and have regular visits to an experienced paediatric dentist.

Having kids practise good dental hygiene is not much of a challenge and is achievable; the problem starts when parents decide to get their kids to visit their dentist and be cooperative in the dentist’s chair. And why is it a challenge?! Yes, fear and anxiety! Fear of dentists, dental procedures, and all the noisy dental equipment at the dental office!

Actually, dental anxiety is quite common, especially among young children! So, what should parents do to ensure their children’s dental health and overall well-being while ensuring they are relaxed and cooperative while receiving dental care? Have you ever heard anything about Sedation Dentistry for Kids?

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Types of Dental Sedation

Sedation dentistry: using medication (sedation medication) by a dentist to make anxious patients (children) relaxed during a dental procedure.

Your child’s dentist may decide to use dental sedation if your child:

  • is anxious about a dental appointment
  • has a severe gas reflex
  • requires more extensive treatment in one dental appointment

If your child’s procedure is a lengthy one and needs your child to sit still and keep their mouth open for a long time, the dentist may suggest dental sedation. The procedure will take place in the dentist’s office so the dental expert can observe your child. A dentist can use several types of sedation to make children or their patients, in general, feel relaxed and less stressed during dental treatment. Three common types of sedation dentistry are Oral Sedation, Intravenous Sedation, and Nitrous Oxide.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide-oxygen is a safe, low-impact sedative for children, with pain-relieving properties and a fast recovery time.

IV Sedation

Sedative medication will be injected into your child’s hand or arm intravenously in this form of sedation. Your child’s level of sedation will continuously be adjusted throughout the procedure. After the treatment, your child may not remember much of the procedure with intravenous sedation. IV sedation is not typically used for children in Australian practice, and for children, the most common types of sedation are Laughing gas or sleep dentistry with general anaesthesia.

Oral Sedation

This type of sedation is given to your child orally and in the form of a pill to keep them calm and relaxed during dental procedures. It takes between twenty minutes to one hour for the pill to kick in; therefore, the dentist will give your child the medication about an hour before the procedure begins. So, when the pediatric dentist wants to start the procedure, your child is already calm and less anxious. The sedation will make children drowsy but still responsive and awake throughout the entire experience. According to Brisbane Paediatric Dentist, anaesthetists may provide children with oral sedation before general anaesthesia to make the process smoother and more comfortable for them.

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Is dental sedation safe for children?

Laughing Gas for kids

Nitrous Oxide is also known as happy gas or laughing gas. Happy Gas is a colourless gas with a sweet smell and is used by dentists to manage pain and anxiety in a nervous child. Using nitrous oxide will enable the dentist to perform the treatment normally but with more peace.

A dentist may use nitrous oxide for patients with mild anxiety. A pediatric dentist will typically use nitrous oxide for nervous children because Gas is the least invasive sedation with no residual effects.

Nitrous oxide is a low impact sedative and is safe for children with dental anxiety or special needs. Nitrous oxide/happy Gas won’t put your child to sleep during the treatment; it just makes your child relax by creating a mild sedative effect.

The dentist will place a breathing mask over your child’s nose, and then your child is supposed to breathe in nitrous oxide, which is combined with oxygen to feel relaxed. The pediatric dentist controls the level of oxygen/Nitrous oxide your child will receive.

Nitrous oxide relaxes a child intimidated to receive dental care and refuses to act cooperatively at a dentist’s chair. While nitrous oxide gas will not cause a person to sleep and keep them awake and conscious throughout the procedure, it may make them lightheaded.

After the dental procedure is done, your child’s dentist will turn off the laughing Gas, remove the breathing mask from your child’s nose, and then will get your child to breathe in pure oxygen (100% oxygen) to flush out any remaining gas of your child’s body.

Nitrous oxide will wear off quickly and within a few minutes after your child breathes in pure oxygen.

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Side effects of Nitrous Oxide in Pediatric Dentistry

Preparing your child for Nitrous Oxide

Please avoid giving your child a big meal if they need to receive nitrous oxide for a dental procedure because chances are your child vomits or feel sick if they receive happy Gas while their stomach is full.

A light meal will decrease your child’s risk of vomiting or nausea. Dairy and greasy foods are also not recommended two hours before your child’s procedure. No serious or prolonged side effect is expected with nitrous oxide, but parents can contact the dentist if their child experiences any unusual side effects.

Feelings of vomiting or nausea are not considered unusual side effects of happy Gas; you can give your child some water or other clear liquids to drink. If your child has received local anesthesia for their dental treatment, it’s better to provide them with watery foods like soup to prevent them from biting their lips, tongue, or cheek.

Is nitrous oxide just for certain procedures?!

Dentists can use laughing gas for a variety of dental procedures including, filling cavities, root canal treatment, dental crowns, cleaning teeth, wisdom tooth extraction etc. Some certain dental procedures may also require local anesthesia to numb the area.

Local anaesthesia is administered to manage pain and not anxiety.

We are here to make the entire experience as stress-free as possible at Brisbane’s friendly professional dental clinic. So, please do not hesitate to contact our Paediatric dentists in Brisbane today on 07 3343 4869 Pure Dentistry to ensure your child’s oral health and make sure they feel relaxed while receiving oral care.