Halitosis in Children: How To Help Your Child's Bad Breath

If your child has bad breath, you may be wondering how to deal with it, and whether or not bad breath indicates any serious oral health issues. So in this blog from Willow Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll discuss what bad breath (halitosis) might mean for your little one, and give you some tips and advice to help you improve their oral health.

What Causes Halitosis In Kids? The Causes Of Bad Breath

First, let’s talk about the basics of halitosis and what causes it. Halitosis is bad breath that persists throughout the day, and doesn’t go away with regular brushing and flossing. The five most common causes of halitosis in kids are: 

  1. Poor overall oral hygiene – If your child does not thoroughly clean their teeth, gums, and tongue each day, bacteria-filled plaque will start to coat their mouth, which can lead to nasty, smelly breath that persists even after they brush.
  2. Gingivitis or cavities – If your child doesn’t brush or floss properly, they may end up with a gum infection (gingivitis) or a cavity. Bacteria buildup from cavities and gingivitis can cause halitosis.
  3. Dehydration or dry mouth – Dry mouth (xerostomia) means your child is not producing enough saliva to rinse away food debris and bacteria. This can be caused by dehydration, as well as certain medications.
  4. Mouth breathing – Breathing through the mouth can cause oral development issues in kids, and may also contribute to halitosis.
  5. Short-term illnesses – In some cases, illnesses like upper respiratory infections or sinus infections can lead to bad breath to the presence of lots of bacteria, and more frequent mouth breathing caused by sinus congestion. 

How To Treat Bad Breath In Kids – Our Tips For Halitosis Treatment

Wondering how you can fight back against halitosis and keep your child’s mouth healthy? Here are a few steps you should take.

  • Make sure they’re maintaining good oral hygiene – If you’re still brushing your child’s teeth, this is easy. But if they’re old enough to brush on their own, you may want to supervise them or brush alongside them to make sure they’re actually brushing their teeth. Kids may lie about brushing their teeth or fail to brush thoroughly, so make sure they’re brushing properly, and at least twice a day.
  • See the dentist every six months – With regular preventive dental care, a dentist can identify poor oral hygiene, check for tooth decay and gingivitis, and give you and your child tips and advice that can help eliminate halitosis and keep their mouth healthy.
  • Keep them hydrated – Proper hydration is key for saliva production, so make sure your child has plenty of water. Avoid juice, soda, and other beverages, and make sure they only drink water and milk to keep their teeth healthy.
  • Watch for mouth breathing – If your child tends to mouth breathe, you may want to discuss this with your pediatrician and dentist. Not only does mouth breathing contribute to bad breath, but it can cause issues with oral development and facial development, and even has been linked to behavioral problems.

Need Help? Contact Willow Pediatric Dentistry Right Away!

Halitosis is only a symptom, not a disease in and of itself, and it can be caused by lots of different things, ranging from minor problems to serious oral health issues. So if your kid’s breath is stinky, don’t wait. Contact Willow Pediatric Dentistry online or call us at (949) 966-0669 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sam, and get your child the help they need in Rancho Santa Margarita.

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