Why Does My Child Have Bad Breath?

We have all, at some point, encountered someone who spoke a little too closely and left you with a lingering scent of the bad taste in their mouth.

Bad breath is a common problem for over 80 million people for any number of reasons, whether it is from what they ate for lunch or an actual medical condition. It is an unpleasant and potentially embarrassing experience for anyone.

But what about your children?

What Are the Causes?

Poor dental hygiene is the leading cause of bad breath.

It most commonly occurs when food particles left in the mouth begin to rot and collect bacteria. Plaque, which is that sticky, transparent film that builds up on your teeth from irregular brushing habits, is also a great hiding place for bacteria.

Any of these items can lead to a foul odor in your child’s mouth.

Bad breath can also be the byproduct of a medical condition.

Chronic halitosis (or bad breath) can occur in diabetics whose blood sugar goes uncontrolled. Kidney, liver and sinus problems have also been known to be the culprits.

Sinus infections that create a postnasal drip are the leading cause of halitosis in children. Runny noses are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, and any residual rundown can end up clinging to back of the tongue.

Saliva is your natural first line of defense in combatting bad breath. Saliva works to wash away food particles and odor-causing bacteria. Children with dry mouth, or who are dehydrated, are also more likely to experience bad breath.

Keeping your child hydrated is an easy way of combatting that, as well as promoting tooth health, as dehydration can also lead to tooth decay.

What Are the Solutions?

As you might suspect, having a good brushing routine is the best way to combat bad breath.

Have your child brush and floss at least twice a day, remembering to also brush his or her tongue, cheeks, and the roof of their mouth.  This will help remove any bacteria or food that might be hiding around their pearly whites.

It is also important to keep up with your child’s regular dental visits to ensure he or she hasn’t developed plaque build-up or cavities.

If your child is experiencing chronic bad breath, be sure to tell your child’s doctor on your next dental visit. They will be able to help you identify the problem and let you know the best method of action to keep your child’s breath as sweet as their smile!