Waking up with bad breath is normal, but when that bad breath lingers throughout the day, it could indicate a problem. Halitosis (bad breath) can be experienced by adults and kids alike. This stinky condition can arise from a number of common causes such as poor dental hygiene, dehydration, and diet. While foul-smelling breath can usually be alleviated quickly once the source is identified, bad breath could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
What Causes Bad Breath in Children?
Poor Oral Hygiene
Certain food and drinks can contribute to bad breath, however, if it is lingering, it could be an indication that you need to take a closer look. One of the leading causes of halitosis in children is insufficient dental cleaning. When plaque remains in the mouth – on the tongue, between teeth, and on the gums – it can cause a foul-smelling odor. Regular dental cleaning by flossing and brushing each day can remove food particles before they build up and form odor-causing plaque.
One of the leading causes of bad breath is dehydration. Drinking water is critical for many of the body’s functions, your mouth included! Saliva is our natural way of cleaning our mouths. When we drink less water, our mouths produce less saliva, which can create an environment for all of those odor-causing bacteria to flourish! Ensuring your children are drinking plenty of water each day will improve your children’s dental health and reduce the number of icky bacteria growing daily.
Common Medical Causes
Bad breath could be a sign that your child has an underlying health problem. Children with acid reflux often experience halitosis due to the regurgitation of stomach acids. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids can also be a factor. Both are located on the back of the throat and are a perfect place for stinky bacteria to hide. Other signs of large tonsils are snoring and sleep apnea. If you feel your child could be experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to consult with your pediatrician. Addressing the underlying root of bad breath can improve your children’s dental health.
How to Treat Bad Breath in Children
Establish Proper Hygiene
Although an unpleasant condition, bad breath can usually be solved fairly quickly through proper dental cleaning. Ensure your children are brushing and flossing regularly and thoroughly. Bacteria can also live on the tongue, so it’s important to make sure they are also brushing their tongue each time they brush their teeth.
Hydration is Key
Drinking more water and staying hydrated is important in maintaining healthy dental care for kids. An increase in water intake will ensure the mouth is producing enough saliva to properly cleanse and prevents a dry environment that promotes bacteria growth.
Utilize a Fluoride Treatment
Lastly, a good option to improve halitosis in children is through the use of fluoride mouthwash. Fluoride improves overall dental care for kids by protecting the enamel of teeth and killing harmful, smelly bacteria. Paired with a minty mouthwash, it will leave your children’s mouths feeling fresh, clean, and healthy.