Laughing gas is the combination of two gases: oxygen and nitrous oxide. It is administered through a mask that is placed over the childs nose. The patient breaths the gases and the nitrous oxide/ oxygen mixture is absorbed through the lungs; once absorbed the patient experiences a sensation of relaxation and well- being. Children usually report a tingly sensation of arms and legs, a sensation of floating in the air and joy; this joyous or cheerful effect is what gives it the name of laughing gas. Once the procedure is finished and the gases are discontinued, oxygen is administered for a short period of time with no lasting effects.
Another quality that laughing gas has is its ability to reduce the gag reflex.