Kids Have Bad Breath? Here’s Why
Bad breath is extremely common in adults. In fact, about 25 percent of people all across the world regularly have bad breath, also known as halitosis. The risk of halitosis increases with age, so older adults are more likely to develop bad breath, but kids can also develop a stinky mouth.
Good dental hygiene is the first line of defense against bad breath, of course, but sometimes sending your child into the bathroom for another try at brushing and flossing may not be enough to ward off the odor coming from your kid’s mouth. The secret to curbing halitosis in your child is to identify and address its underlying cause.
5 Possible Causes of Your Kid’s Bad Breath
1. Poor Oral Hygiene
Watch your kids brush and floss to make sure they are doing it correctly. Proper brushing and flossing removes food debris – when left in place on your child’s teeth and gums, food particles can cause foul odors. Food and saliva can combine with bacteria to create plaque, which can build up to irritate the gums and cause tooth decay, which can also trigger bad breath in kids. Cavities, gum disease, and mouth sores can cause halitosis that brushing and flossing cannot eliminate. Set a schedule for your children to brush and floss each day.
Saliva performs many important jobs, such as lubricating food to make it easier to swallow. Saliva also helps rinse away odor-causing bacteria. Dehydration can slow down the production of saliva, which can lead to bad breath in children.
3. Nutrition or Diet
Certain foods, such as onions, garlic, and strong spices, can create halitosis. When digested, odorous molecules from these foods enter the bloodstream; the body eliminates these molecules through the lungs as your child breathes. Other foods, such as red meat, cheese, and fish can make unpleasant breath downright unbearable. Consider limiting some of these foods if your child’s breath becomes too stinky.
4. Infections and Diseases
Infections and disease can cause bad breath. Fluids can collect in your child’s nasal passages and throat, creating the perfect environment for sinus infections and halitosis. Swollen tonsils can attract odor-causing bacteria that lead to bad breath. Acid reflux is a condition in which smelly stomach acid comes back up into your child’s throat and mouth. Diabetes can also cause bad breath in two ways: by increasing the risk of gum disease and the presence of ketones, which occur as byproducts when the body produces when it burns fat instead of sugar for energy.
5. Dry Mouth or Mouth Breathing
Dry mouth is a condition in which there is not enough saliva to keep the mouth moist or to rinse away bacteria. A number of factors can contribute to dry mouth, including finger-sucking, use of a pacifier, and snoring. Mouth breathing can also be a main contributor to your child’s bad breath.
How to Treat Bad Breath in Kids
Depending on the underlying cause of your child’s halitosis, you can take steps to treat bad breath in your kids.
Have your child brush their teeth twice a day with supervision
Watch your child’s tooth brushing and flossing technique. Your child should hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line, for example, and use a gentle back-and-forth motion on the chewing surfaces and a light circular motion on the sides. Your child should use a gentle rubbing motion during flossing, holding the floss in a c-shape around the base of teeth.
Regular flossing removes food debris that can cause odors and infections.
Use an anti-cavity mouthwash
Swishing mouthwash can rinse away odor-causing food and bacteria; using an anti-cavity mouthwash helps prevent cavities that can cause halitosis.
Schedule regular checkups
Your child’s dentist can look for signs of gum infections, tooth decay, and other oral issues that contribute to bad breath.
>Drink plenty of water
Drinking water helps reduce the risk of dehydration and can rinse your child’s mouth.
Limit odor-causing foods
Limit foods such as garlic, onions, and high-protein meats.
People of all ages need to engage in good oral hygiene to stop bad breath before it starts. Even the little ones need to have their teeth brushed daily to halt halitosis. The dental health professionals at Williams & Daily can help you curb your child’s offensive odors. For more information about bad breath in kids, contact Williams & Daily today.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to
their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.