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Pre-Operative Instructions for Nitrous Oxide (Children)

Some children are given nitrous oxide to relax throughout their dental treatment. This form of sedation is a blend of two gases, nitrous oxide and oxygen. It’s administered through a small nasal mask, which is placed over your child’s nose, keeping them comfortable and relaxed. The American Academy of Pediatric recognizes this as a safe method for children who may be fearful or anxious when it comes to dentistry. The gas is incredibly mild, easy to take, and it quickly eliminated from the body with normal breathing. It’s non-addictive, and your child will remain conscious with all their natural reflexes throughout their entire appointment.

Prior to the Appointment

  • Inform our office of any changes in your child’s health or medical history.
  • You should notify us of any respiratory issues or problems that may make it difficult for your son or daughter to breathe through their nose because it may limit the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Let our office know if your child is taking any medication on the day of their visit.

Post-Operative Instructions for Nitrous Oxide (Children)

Contact us if your child experiences any unusual symptoms and be sure to follow the instructions below.

  • Numbness: The mouth will feel numb for about 2 to 4 hours, and sometimes longer depending on if local anesthetic was used. Make sure you child doesn’t bite, scratch, or injure their tongue, lips, and cheeks.
  • Bleeding: We will control bleeding while your child is still in our office, however there is possibility of slight bleeding at home. Hold gauze against the surgical site with firm pressure until the bleeding has subsided. Make sure you change the gauze pad if it becomes soaked and call our office if oozing lasts longer than 2 to 4 hours.
  • Daily activities: Ensure that your child avoid physical activity or exertion of the day of treatment. Smoking is never good for any child’s health, but this habit should also be avoided.
  • Diet: Help your child drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. Plus, cold and soft foods are good on the first day—popsicles, Jello®, yogurt, and pudding are some examples. Do not allow your son or daughter to use straws if they had extractions.
  • Oral Hygiene: Gently brush and floss your child’s teeth during the first day, avoiding the surgical site. Soreness or swelling may make brushing difficult in certain areas, but it’s important to make an effort to keep teeth clean.
  • Pain: discomfort is expected, so you should make sure you give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen before the numbness from treatment dissipates. If pain can’t be relieved with these options, your child may need a prescription with some food on their stomach to prevent nausea.

Be on the lookout for swelling and inflammation that may occur for the next few days. You can use an ice pack or cold compress, alternating 10 minutes on the affected area and 10 minutes off. If swelling persists after 24 hours, use warm and moist compresses for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off. Call our office right away if swelling persists after 48 hours. Additionally, a fever is common during the first 48 hours, but if this issue persists, contact our office immediately.