14 answers

Giving a Toddler Laughing Gas

Hi moms, I really could use some advice. My husband thinks I am crazy for being so nervous. My 3yr old son has to have some fillings done and one dentist tells me they will give him laughing gas to do it. Another dentist tells me they want to do it in the OR and put him to sleep. Here is the problem he is not diagnosed with Asthma, but he does do treatments alot when the weather changes.
He's Ped/Dr, tells me to make sure I let them know in case he starts wheezing. What would you do?


What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for your imput. My husband and I have been going back and forth. I am going to get his fillings done in the OR. We do have a ped/dentist. I will keep you informed .

Thanks again

More Answers

You are not crazy, you are a very diligent mother. More power to you!!

You may need a second opinion on your 3 year old child's need for dental fillings. Many are now recommending that if the tooth is not infected, to leave it alone (baby teeth will fall out soon) or to pull it out if there is a risk of the infection spreading.

Please please please don't give your son metal (silver) fillings. They contain mercury which is extremely toxic and very dangerous for anyone, especially a child, to have in their mouth.

My daughter got asthma shortly after she had metal fillings put in, and it disappeared shortly after those filled teeth fell out. As an adult she is now dealing with mercury residue in her body that is causing bone deterioration.

My own asthma went away after my silver fillings were removed. I am now dealing with severe mercury toxicity from having so many silver fillings for so long. Mercury has more dangerous effects than you want to know, and they are extremely under-reported because the American Dental Association does not want you to know, either.

You know how there are warnings out about consuming fish because of mercury? Well, having a metal filling puts much more mercury in the body than any kind of fish diet.

Dental problems are nutritional problems, not hygiene as the ADA and food industry would like us to believe. Read "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by one of the world's top dentists, Weston A. Price.

Your son's dental problems may be due to a lack of the fat-soluble vitamins. In that case, a daily dose of high-vitamin cod liver oil, as well as a diet rich in bone broths, organ meats, especially liver from pastured animals, and full fat, raw and fermented dairy foods can help the teeth heal. See this wonderful nutritional website www.westonaprice.org for more information on that.

Total anesthesia is very dangerous, more dangerous than most of the surgeries that they perform when you are given the anesthetic. It also actually does cause brain damage. Laughing gas would be much preferable and less dangerous.

Two other common dental procedures to avoid are fluoride treatments and x rays. Use a biological dentist.

There is a dentist in Jacksonville who is wonderful with small children, very fast, and does not use dangerous procedures. Dr. Stephen Hwang whose website is www.straightwhite.com There is a dental office 2 blocks from our house, but we drive all the way from Gainesville to Jacksonville because he is the best we've found.

M. Minno
Mother of two
Grandmother of two

1 mom found this helpful


I would look into a pediatric dentist not an adult dentist that also sees kids. Also make sure that the staff at the office are BLS (Basic Life Support)or preferably PALS(pediatric advance life support) trained. Then make sure that the office is equipped to meet BLS support. I really doubt that you would need that but as a mom and nurse that is what I do for my children. I would lean more towards the gas and local anesthesia with a child with asthma as putting him to sleep with general anesthesia always poses the risk of having to intubate and we don't like to do that with asthmatics. I have an asthmatic daughter. On another note to prevent cavities in the future here are some thoughts. Make sure that after you brush his teeth at night that he only drinks water not milk. Also make sure to brush his teeth after his breathing treatments or inhalers. Many of those medications have a steroid component and left on the teeth they can break down the enamel on the teeth and cause cavities.

go with the gas!! When ever they put anyone (under) it is life theatening. . It is a state of the body that is very close to death and if your child has never been under you don't know how they will react. I've had over 50 operations and I'll choose locals with drugs to make me sleepy, but not under.Never let anyone go under without being in a hospital!!
My sister was put under for a gall blatter caused her heart problem to incease the antistesia did her in. GO GAS

I worked for a pediatric dentist office and have had first hand experience with the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), as well as having the patient sedated. It is something that is not taken lightly. We take all of the childs vitals and the child is hooked up to a monitoring system during the appt. With the child having asthmatic problems, the doctor will evaluate him. Most times, the child is able to be sedated without any concern of a potential problem. In addition to the sedative, the child has a constant flow of nitrous oxide. It really serves as a wonderful way to get a lot of work done in one visit, without undo stress on the child. As a parent, I would feel the same way you do, but as a pediatric dental assistant, I would go that route to prevent my child from being upset. When a child is so upset, they tend to thrash around and really could cause themselves as well as the doctor/staff to get hurt. Have you had a consultation with your dentist and expressed your concerns? Do you feel that you trust the doctor your child sees? Trust is really important. If you don't feel it, you may want to go elsewhere. I know that the office I worked with is one of the best. Not because I worked there, but because I have heard the testimonies from many patients and their families. If you are in this area, I can get you the info, but as far as the sedation factor goes, my office will suggest it too. It really is what is best for all involved. Does your son have a lot of work to be done? If not, then they can probably get it all done in one visit. Keeping your son on a regular cleaning schedule will help him get used to the dentist and the staff. Before long he will see them as friends and not be so intimidated by them and the environment. We made it a goal to reach out to the kids and become friends with them. It is amazing when you finally make a break through with one of them and they give you a hug and can't wait to come back!! I think that is why I loved pediatric dentistry so much. It is very gratifying. We can shape and mold the children so that they don't fear the dentist like most adults do. Dentistry has come a LONG way, and doesn't have to be so scarey. I hope this may help ease your mind a little. Let me know what happens with it and how he does. Good luck!

i have an 11 yr,old granddaughter with severe asthma(she was born with it).when she was 3 she had to have extensive dential work done.the dentist put her to sleep for the work which would have taken 8 trips in the office.it was all done at once.it was painless for both her and my daughter.the only side effect was she threw up in the car going home.she had to have several extractions and almost all the rest were fillings and a couple of root canals.i suggest going to the dr.your most comfortable with.ask your ped/dr. who he'ed send her/his kids too.


Hi M.,

Boy, I feel for you...I would be nervous also. All sedation has dangers. I've been sedated MANY times since I was six for several conditions and I have felt a little piece of my memory go away each time. Laughing gas is much safer than putting him completely under, but the stress of breathing in the gas is tramatic. I was 6 and I STILL remember fighting them while they were holding the cup over my nose..like it was yesterday.

The last time I was put under was a necessary hernia operation. I don't have asthma or any other respiratory illnesses but while I was in recovery they had to shake me and tell me to breath because I was not doing it on my own. You do feel the effects quite a while after. I couldn't raise my voice over a soft tone without coughing for almost a year. (Do you know how hard that is with kids, lol!)

Is the filling absolutely necessary? If not, I personally wouldn't do it. If it is due to infection or something that absolutely can't be avoided you will have to determine what your son will be able to handle best. After this is all said and done, email me privately and I'll let you know what our family uses for dental hygiene. My kids have not had one cavity since we started using it...



my daughter had fillings when she was 3 and she had laughing gas and she does have asthma. however they still restrained her to a papoose and she was very upset at first so next appt was a little better. all in all it went fine so im not to concerned if she had to do it again its always scary but as long as you trust your drs. then they do know what they are doing as for an o.r and putting the child to sleep honestly i think that would be an even scarier setting..

I was in the dental field for 15 years. My kids were raised in dentistry, but my youngest wasn't so he flipped out when he went for the first time at age 2 for a check up.
I had to take him in at age 4 and have work done. We'll some kids tolerate going and some do not and you have to be understanding of the real fear they have of the unknown and firm with the manipulation of trying to get out of it.
The gas will make them calm, but only if they stop crying and breath it. If they are crying and yelling it does no good.
I would at least try it and explain as best as you can what is going to be done and try to ease him in that regard.
Going to the right pediatric dentist is the key. You have to see that they are good with the kids and that the assistants are as well. If they are calm and relaxing and educating the child it will go a whole lot better.
But some kids still act out the whole time and once it's over they are fine.
My son was covered with sweat and completely exhausted, but was so proud a few hours later of his shiny tooth.

If you can give some of the things they use in the dentist office funny names that helps them to not feel threatened as well. Like the air/water sprayer I always called it my water gun and I let the kids hold it and spray it. The big suction to clean the mouth out was called Mrs. Thirsty and the little one was Mr. Thirsty because he sucks all the water out of their mouth. And the drills were called Mr. Bumpy and Mr. Whistler.
Anyway I know that sounds silly, but if you can make seem less threatening to them then they do much better with it.
Dental phobics are created not born.
I hope you have a good dentist if not and you'd like a referral email privately and I'll give you the name of the one I took my youngest to here.
Good luck, he'll be fine.

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