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How Nitrous Oxide Works

By: Dave Roos

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Author's Note: How Nitrous Oxide Works

Mom, stop reading this. OK, is she gone? Truth be told, in my youth, I may have inhaled nitrous oxide once or twice outside of a dental setting. I did a lot of stupid things as an anxious, self-conscious teenager trying to impress his friends. From what I remember, huffing nitrous felt like a limb falling asleep, except the limb was my head. Even as a stupid teenager, I knew this couldn't be good for the "crain bells," so I found ways to avoid it. The last time I inhaled nitrous was in a Mexican dentist's office, where laughing gas is administered for procedures as routine as a vigorous flossing. All I remember is hearing The Beatles on the sound system and thinking, "Man, The Beatles are amazing!" Next thing I knew, I was spitting into a napkin and ushered out into the glaring daylight, still slightly dazed and amused.

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