Bad breath, also called halitosis, is pretty common and affects both adults and kids alike. It’s completely normal to have bad breath from time to time, especially first thing in the morning or after eating smelly foods like onions and garlic.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There’s no reason to worry if your child has bad breath occasionally. However, if your little one’s bad breath is persistent, it could be a symptom of something else.
Here are the most common reasons why your child might have bad breath.
Poor Hygiene and Cavities
When your child doesn’t brush and floss properly, food particles get stuck between their teeth and bacteria begin to grow. The bacteria cause plaque to build up and leads to cavities and tooth decay, which causes a foul odor to develop.
Dry Mouth and Mouth Breathing
When kids breathe through their mouths, whether when sleeping or because of a stuffy nose, it prevents them from generating saliva. Saliva is important to rinse and wash bacteria away.
Infections, Illness and Mouth Sores
Certain illnesses in children, especially upper respiratory, sinus or throat infections may lead to bad breath because of nasal congestion and mouth breathing. Bacteria also feed on the mucus produced by the body. This usually resolves once the infection, illness or sores clear up.
Certain medications can leave an unusual smell in your child’s mouth, especially if the medicine causes dry mouth.
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath in Kids?
In most cases, bad breath is treatable. So, what’s the best way to go about this?
One of the first things you should do is make sure your child is brushing and flossing properly. They should brush for at least two minutes, twice a day, and floss at least once every day. Also, ensure that they brush their tongue every time they brush their teeth. You might also want to add an antibacterial mouth rinse to their routine.
Make sure your child stays hydrated. Water helps increase saliva production to wash away the bacteria that cause bad breath. Offer your child plenty of water throughout the day and try to avoid sugary and carbonated drinks.
Regular dental visits are an important part of your child’s overall oral and dental health. When we see your child regularly, it allows us to identify and monitor potential problems, like plaque, tartar, cavities and tooth sensitivity, before they get out of control. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to ask any questions you or your child may have.
If have any concerns about your little one’s bad breath, please let us know. Halitosis is usually a symptom of something else and we at Kitsap Kid’s Dentistry are here to help!