Bad Breath in Kids
Posted on 11/18/2021

Bad breath can be inevitable. Depending on what you eat, or if your mouth’s dry, bad breath can occur. It can also be a sign of poor oral hygiene. Sometimes known as halitosis, bad breath in children can be concerning for parents, and maybe even embarrassing for kids. At Short Pump Dental, not only is it our responsibility to treat your child’s teeth and gums, it’s also our job to treat their bad breath. Luckily, it can be managed easily! Being aware of the common causes of halitosis can help alleviate the stress of bad breath; just with some lifestyle changes, you can keep your breath smelling fresh.

Emphasis What Causes Bad Breath?

  • Poor Oral Hygiene- Smelly plaque can hang in between the teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This debris can cause stinky odors from the bacteria that is collected due to the failure to remove old food particles with good brushing and flossing.
  • Dehydration & Dry Mouth- When we don’t drink enough water, the amount of saliva in our mouth decreases. And we need saliva to clean out our oral environment. As a result, we get an increase in the odor-causing bacteria in our mouths. Also, certain medications can lead to dry mouth, which also causes bad breath. If your child is taking medications on a daily basis due to a specific medical condition, it is important to know that saliva flow may be less. Luckily, these are relatively simple to cure; make sure that everyone drinks plenty of water to stop bad breath from occurring.
  • Smelly Foods- Garlic, onions, and fish are some of the most common culprits to bad breath. After eating these foods, it is best to rinse with water or even brush our teeth. Another great option after eating smelly foods is to chew on sugarless gum or pop in a mint, such as Trident. Chewing gum can help create more saliva in our mouths, which can help to limit halitosis.
  • Medical Concerns- Bad breath can be a sign of overall physical health. Children who experience acid reflux may have bad breath. This is due to the regurgitation of stomach acids and digested foods. Another contribution to bad breath may be large tonsils or adenoids. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can increase bacteria, which may lead to halitosis. In severe instances, your child may need to be evaluated by a pediatrician to see if they need medical attention if bad breath keeps occurring.

Emphasis How Can It Be Treated?

  • Brushing & Flossing- Thorough brushing, flossing, and tongue brushing is the key to preventing bad breath. Most people forget to brush the top surface of their tongue, which is where a lot of the odor-causing buildup can reside. In fact, there are special brushes for your tongue that are called “tongue scrapers,” that can help remove odor on your tongue. It is also important to use proper techniques to adequately remove all the plaque that causes bad breath. One key technique is ensuring that the toothbrush bristles are going towards the gums at a 45-degree angle. The gumline is a common spot that is missed when brushing, which can cause a heavy buildup of odor from the plaque. Also, don’t forget to floss regularly.
  • Mouthwash- Mouthwash is also a good way to get rid of bad breath, as long as you're brushing and flossing regularly. For pediatric patients, use a rinse that contains fluoride. Kids younger than 6 years of age should not use mouthwash, due to the likelihood of them swallowing it. All mouth rinses are meant to spit out after use.
  • Medical Care- If bad breath keeps persisting, regardless of them brushing/flossing correctly or if they keep themselves hydrated, contact your child’s doctor. It can be caused by a medical condition, and, if left untreated, halitosis will keep harboring.

Emphasis Schedule a Pediatric Dental Appointment Today!

If your child needs to see a dentist, contact Short Pump Dental today! Our Henrico, VA office is happy to answer any questions or concerns you have. Our expert doctors and team work hard to provide comprehensive care to everyone of all ages. Get started with us today! We can’t wait to work with you and your family.