Children, like adults, can have bad breath. In fact, it’s a pretty common concern for parents around the world. Kids bad breath, also known as halitosis, is usually only momentary and goes away when your child brushes their teeth. If halitosis persists, it’s time to get it checked.
Major causes of bad breath in kids
Poor oral hygiene
In most situations, kids bad breath can be due to a lack of good oral hygiene. The most typical areas for smelly, halitosis-causing debris (plaque) to accumulate in the mouth are between teeth, on gums, and on the tongue. Plaque is a sticky layer of germs that builds on the surfaces of teeth naturally throughout the day and produces unpleasant odours. Poor oral hygiene can swiftly lead to halitosis, whether it’s a failure to brush all the nooks and crannies of children’s mouths, a lack of regular flossing practice, or forgetting to clean the tongue. Incorrect brushing can also cause food particles to remain in the mouth. This can lead to the growth of bacteria, resulting in bad breath.
Apart from bad breath, lack of oral hygiene might increase your child’s risk of developing dental problems including cavities and gum disease. Therefore, it’s important to teach your child good oral hygiene habits and take them on regular dental visits.
Sometimes, bad breath can simply be because your child ate something pungent earlier in the day. When your child eats garlic or onions, certain sulphurous compounds enter their bloodstream and exit through their lungs, resulting in the typical garlic or onion breath. Eating more junk food, such as potato chips, sticky sweets, and chocolate – anything that can get stuck between your child’s teeth, can also cause bad breath.
Dental Cavities, gum disease, and loose Pediatric fillings or crowns
Oral bacterial infections such as tooth decay and gingivitis (gum disease) can occur if plaque is not cleaned regularly and can cause chronic bad breath in youngsters. Not only do cavity-causing bacteria emit odours, but the food is more likely to get stuck in the decayed part of the tooth and is more difficult to brush away, increasing the foul smell. Food and bacteria can get trapped beneath a broken or loose dental crown or filling in your child, leading to halitosis. Other infections, such as mouth sores or a dental abscess, can also cause halitosis.
Saliva is a natural cleaning agent. Throughout the day, it washes away food particles and foul-smelling bacteria and works to keep your child’s teeth clean and their breath fresh. When your little one has a dry mouth (also known as xerostomia), foul-smelling bacteria can build inside their mouth more easily, leading to halitosis.
Dehydration, mouth breathing, medical condition, or certain medications are some of the more common reasons for xerostomia in children.
If dry mouth is caused by dehydration, having your child drink plenty of water can keep that bad breath away.
When your kid breathes through their mouth, especially when sleeping, they are not producing saliva to wash away bacteria. The odour builds as the bacteria start growing. This might happen when your child has a congested nose due to a cold. Once the cold has passed, they will be able to breathe through their nose again, and their saliva will be able to do what it does. In this case, their bad breath will most likely disappear after the congestion clears up. Mouth breathing in youngsters can also be a habit that can lead to bad breath and also orthodontic problems that must be addressed. If found early, it can be reversed, so if you suspect your child’s bad breath is caused by persistent mouth breathing, have it tested.
If mouth breathing persists, visit a kids dentist in Dubai or a Pediatrician
Children with large tonsils or tonsils with deep pits in them may have bad breath. This is because the tonsils attract food, bacteria, and nasal secretions. Tonsilloliths, or tonsil stones, can form in the pits and generate an odour when they degrade.
Ear, nose, or throat infections or allergies
Infections caused by viruses and bacteria, such as strep throat, can cause kids bad breath. Furthermore, postnasal drip, which is common in children with allergies or a sinus infection, has been related to poor breath. Mouth bacteria thrive on mucus and secretions that often drip down the back of the throat and sit on the tongue. As the bacteria munch on it, they emit foul-smelling fumes. Bad breath is frequently accompanied by a runny nose, congestion, and fever.
Visit your child’s Pediatrician or best dentist for kids if you feel your child may have developed any infection or allergies.
A foreign object stuck in nose
Children may insert foreign objects into their noses while playing, such as beads, legos, tiny batteries, or food scraps. It can cause irritation, a runny nose, and bad breath. Seek medical assistance right away if you suspect your child has shoved anything up their nose and they also have a fever and dark green mucus. In this scenario, you should not try to forcefully remove the foreign item; instead, see a Pediatrician to have it removed.
How to get rid of kids bad breath?
- Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and flosses once a day. To get rid of bad breath in babies and toddlers, you must clean and floss their teeth for them. If your child is older, they can brush on their own under your supervision.
- Don’t forget to encourage your child to brush their tongue as well. Bacteria that cause odour attach to skin cells on the back of the tongue.
- Don’t let your child skip breakfast in the morning. Eating and drinking will stimulate saliva production and give your child a fresh morning breath.
- Make sure your child drinks plenty of water every day to prevent dry mouth. Encourage them to rinse their mouths with water after every meal and snack.
- Encourage your child to eat healthy. The bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and starches. A healthy, well-balanced diet and limiting sugary sweets, and consuming starchy meals in moderation will keep their mouth healthy.
- Ensure your child is thoroughly cleaning their oral appliances regularly, according to the advice of your child’s Pediatric Dentist or orthodontist. If your child is young or otherwise unable to clean correctly, you can step in. Consult your child’s Pediatric Dentist or orthodontist if you are unclear about how to clean an appliance properly.
- When your child eats fibrous-rich fruits and vegetables, they scrape away odorous plaque.
- If your child’s foul breath is caused by cavities, gum disease, or another oral health issue, consult the best Pediatric Dentist in Dubai. They will remove hardened plaque, which will improve your child’s breath. Your child’s Pediatric Dentist will also examine your child’s teeth and gums and speak with you about their medical history, allowing them to address problems before it becomes serious and causes halitosis.
When to visit a Pediatric Dentist?
Home remedies are a fantastic way to alleviate the symptoms of halitosis though they are not a cure. If your child has bad breath because of gum disease or another medical condition, such as infections, plaque, or tartar, these home remedies will not help. They’ll only conceal it for a short time and come back again. In this case, the only solution is to schedule an appointment with a Pediatric Dentistry in Dubai.
Schedule an appointment with your Pediatric Dentist if your child has tooth pain, inflamed or bleeding gums, difficulty eating, drinking, or swallowing, or bad breath. This could mean your child has a dental problem that needs to be treated.
Call the best dentist for kids in Dubai if your child has bad breath along with a fever and other symptoms. These are symptoms of an infection, and infections such as strep throat usually require an antibiotic.
Mostly, kids bad breath is not an emergency. If it does not improve after trying home remedies, take your child to their Pediatric Dentist.
About Dr. Yasmin Kottait: Having dedicated 16 years of her career to spreading smiles and imparting knowledge of oral hygiene to children, Dr. Yasmin is a renowned name and face in the field of Pediatric Dentistry in Dubai. Her joyful personality and magical kid-whispering powers make dental appointments for kids an easy sail – and lots of fun, that they never miss a single dental appointment with her! Dr. Yasmin is also one of the few Autism friendly dentists in the region, with a diploma in Cognitive Based Hypnotherapy and IBCCES Autism certification.