6 Most Common Causes of Halitosis or Bad Breath in Children

As a parent, you have got a long list of things to worry about. Even though bad breath (halitosis) may not be at the top of the list, it can sometimes be a warning sign of serious dental problems. It is estimated that one in four individuals have some form of halitosis regularly. So, if you have started to notice your kiddo’s foul breath, it is wise to understand what may be causing it. Several things could contribute to smelly breath in toddlers, children and teens but in this post from Dentistguidemaster, we will take a closer look at the top six most common contributing factors. 

Why Would A Child Have Bad Breath?

If your child’s breath is stinky, you may wonder what is causing it. Poor oral hygiene is often the culprit when it comes to bad breath (halitosis) in children. Check out the list of top 6 causes of bad breath or halitosis in children to figure out what to do next. Let’s get started.

1. Improper Oral Hygiene

One of the most common causes of bad breath in toddlers, children and teens is inadequate oral hygiene. If your child has started to brush his or her teeth, then he or she may not be doing a perfect job. Not cleaning the teeth frequently or thoroughly can easily cause your child to have smelly breath. If plaque and food debris are not properly removed away, it can irritate the gums, leading to serious dental conditions. In general, children can usually brush on their own between five to six years of age, but dental professionals recommended supervising the tiny humans when they brush. So, make sure your child cleans each tooth thoroughly, use fluoride toothpaste and brush for at least two minutes. Doing this helps prevent unpleasant breath and keeps his or her mouth clean.

2. Tongue Coating

Does your little one has bad breath and a white tongue? Well, another very popular cause of smelly breath or bad breath in children is the development of tongue coating. Food particles, odour-causing bacteria, and decomposing skin cells often collect and grow on the tongue. That’s why parents should encourage their children to brush their tongues every time they brush their teeth. There is a wide range of tongue brushes available. However, it may take some practice to brush the tongue effectively.

3. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth (xerostomia), is another cause of bad breath in children. Dry mouth is common condition that usually occurs when salivary glands do not produce enough saliva for keeping the mouth moist and washing away the odour-causing bacteria, and food particles. As a result, this leads to dry mouth or xerostomia, raising the risk of cavities. Since children are quite active all the time, it can be a little hard for them to remember to stay properly hydrated. We all are well aware of the fact that drinking plenty of water a day is vital for our health. The same goes for children, especially really active ones. Additionally, adequate hydration is necessary to maintain a saliva flow in the mouth, so make sure your little one drinks enough water every day.

4. Mouth Breathing

Most children have a habit of breathing or snoring through their mouth more than the nose.  As a result, this can prevent saliva from washing away the foul-smelling bacteria, causing bad breath. However, this form of bad breath is temporary and tends to go away once your little one brushes his or her teeth and the saliva in the mouth gets going again.

5. Diet

Certain foods can cause bad breath in children (and adults). Garlic and onion are great examples. A diet rich in sugary and processed foods (such as soda, candy, and chips) is also to blame. These foods can cause serious damage to teeth due to their acidic nature, contributing to bad breath. Ensuring your little one’s teeth are properly brushed, flossed and rinsed two times a day will offer many benefits.

6. Tooth Decay

Another extremely common cause of bad breath in children and teens is tooth decay. A cavity or tooth decay starts when cavity-causing germs and bacteria in the mouth begin to attack the teeth.  Tooth decay can cause many dental problems, but stinky breath is a noticeable one.  If you think that your little one is experiencing some sort of tooth decay, schedule an appointment with your child’s dentist right away for a dental check-up and to discuss the treatment options.

The bottom line

We hope this post from Dentistguidemaster has helped you to discover more about bad breath in children. Typically, bad breath in children will disappear once they floss, brush and cleans their tongues. For severe cases, consulting a pediatric dentist is important to ensure that your child’s mouth is healthy.