How to Keep Your Kids Laughing It Up after Dental Sedation

Posted on: 17 July 2015

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is one of the most commonly used types of sedation in pediatric dentistry. Laughing gas is known to impart a euphoric or even giggly feeling within minutes. The effects continue for the whole procedure since the child gets a continual dosage of the gas until the dental work is complete. Some of the laughing gas effects may last for a short while after leaving the dentist's office, although the majority of kids will feel like themselves within 10 minutes following the procedure. Below, you can learn how to keep that happy feeling going even as the laughing gas wears off.

Nap it Off

Many kids feel drowsy after laughing gas, and it's fine to allow your child to nap off the effects. Make sure that your child lies down to nap in such a way that their airways are totally unobstructed. This allows your child to breathe freely.

Since children are often a bit sluggish after dental surgery, they may not be as quick to self–adjust if they aren't breathing freely. Continue to keep a close watch on your child as they nap. If you notice any unusual breathing patterns or snoring, gently move your child into a new position until they're breathing evenly again.

Enjoy Low-Key Activities

Activities for the remainder of the day that your child has dental surgery should be quiet ones. Children should not engage in any activities that require great physical balance or focus immediately after the dental surgery. Reflexes may be a bit slowed as the laughing gas wears off, so sports and other physical activities can be dangerous, not to mention the extra blood pumping through their system might cause their surgery site to bleed more heavily.

Instead, offer to do some fun indoor activities with your child to keep them occupied. Coloring, video games, board games, or other family fun can keep them happy and keep their mind off their mouth.

Keep Pain at Bay

Your pediatric dentist may prescribe medication for your child postsurgery. Start any required medication like antibiotics on schedule and continue until the prescription is gone. Although infection is a risk after dental surgery, antibiotics can help curb the pain of infection by preventing and resolving infections.

Painkillers are typically given on an "as needed" basis. Pediatric dentists often prescribe drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen with codeine. To make sure that pain is kept at bay as much as possible, administer the recommended dosage of any prescribed medication to your child as soon as pain begins. 

With the tips above, you can help your child to maintain a positive impression of the dentist, even when they've had to undergo dental surgery. Ask a pediatric dentist, like one from Children's Dental Center Of Central Iowa PLC, for more tips about how to make the postsurgery period as easy as possible!