Have you noticed a bad odor coming from your child’s mouth? Like adults, kids can suffer from bad breath and it often stems from poor oral hygiene. Medically known as halitosis, bad breath is a condition even a healthy child can have at times. This can be temporary or it can remain for an extended amount of time which may be a sign of a more severe problem.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are many factors that can contribute to the problem. Some of the causes are:
- Poor Oral Hygiene: not brushing or flossing frequently can result in bad breath and can lead to other dental issues.
- Bacteria in the Mouth: most odors reside on the tongue, which is why you should check and make sure your child doesn’t have a white or yellow coat. Make sure your child brushes their tongue thoroughly to prevent the accumulation of bacteria.
- Dry Mouth: saliva helps to cleanse the mouth. Keep your child hydrated! If they suffer from dry mouth, there are a variety of mouth rinses you can buy to keep your mouth moist.
- Mouth Breathing: if your child has a stuffy nose or is a mouth breather by habit, there is less saliva to wash the bacteria away.
- Infections in the Mouth: bad breath can be a result of infection from cavities, plaque buildup, mouth sores, oral surgery, or gum disease. It is important to see your dentist every 6 months for a routine check up and cleaning.
- Foreign Object: Kids, especially small toddlers, are continually touching objects and placing them in their nose. A foreign object stuck in the nose can cause bad breath, you’ll need a doctor to check their nasal passage if you suspect the smell comes from their nose.
- Swollen Tonsils: check if your child’s tonsils are healthy or if they are infected. When tonsils are red, inflamed and have white spots they are swollen. Its the perfect place to collect bacteria and can cause terrible breath.
- Foods: foods containing strong odors like onions, garlic, or caffeinated drinks can give your child a temporary, sour smell to their breath.
- Illness or Medical Condition: suffering from sinus infections, uncontrollable diabetes, malnutrition, or other conditions can cause bad breath.
These are just some of the causes of bad breath and they can be treated from home! Teach your child to brush their teeth before bedtime to promote a good oral habit and prevent bad breath.
Remedies for Bad Breath:
If you’re noticing a less refreshing breath from your child, one way to start is by following a healthy dental routine. Healthy teeth are integral to the overall health of a child and helping your child develop good oral care is a step towards avoiding bad breath. Remedies to freshening up your child’s breath are:
- Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, try to supervise so that no toothpaste is consumed in the process.
- Scrape you tongue each morning to decrease bacteria.
- Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months, especially after your child has been sick.
- Arrange regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
- Remove your dentures and clean them regularly to get rid of bacteria.
- Drink plenty of water and swishing cold water to have a fresh morning breath.
- Chew on a lemon or orange rind. The citric acid stimulates the salivary glands and fights bad breath.
- Chew a fresh sprig of basil, cilantro or mint to neutralize odors.
- Try swishing mouthwash that’s alcohol-free for 30 seconds.
Even if you’ve tried some of these remedies and still notice your child has terrible breath lingering, then consult with your dentists for further treatment. Together, you can both track the origin of their bad breath by doing a proper cleaning and oral exam. Your dentist can help rule out oral health problems and advise you on further steps to take.
Regardless of what the cause may be for your child’s bad breath, start implementing good dental and oral habits at an early age. When was the last time you went to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned? If you can’t remember, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with us to get your teeth cleaned!