Why Does My Kid's Breath Smell Bad?

If you go up to hug the little one and notice bad breath, how concerned should you be?

Well, if it’s a one-time thing, most likely the child’s breath was affected by something they ate. If they brush their teeth and the smell is gone, then you have nothing to worry about. But, if the smell is persistent, it could be one of the following 4 causes:

1. Poor Oral Hygiene

Getting children to stay on top of their oral hygiene is a difficult task for parents, but it’s extremely important to do so. If the teeth aren’t properly cleaned every single day, this increases the child’s risk to develop cavities and other dental issues. Help your child brush their teeth at least 2 times a day, and use dental floss before bed to remove as many food particles as possible.

Also pay attention to cleaning the child’s tongue, as bacteria can accumulate. Over time, the tongue begins to look white, as if it has a coating, and causes bad breath.

2. Tooth Decay

Cavities or tooth decay can lead to bad odors, as the bacteria that cause these issues can release odors. If your child is also complaining about pain or avoids eating certain foods that are too hot or too cold, a cavity could be the likely cause of all their symptoms. 

3. Gum Disease

Children are not exempt from gum disease. Without a strong oral hygiene routine, the bacteria that accumulate in the mouth can start attacking the gums and lead to bad odors. While the risk of periodontics is smaller in children, they can get a form of gingivitis, which can impact their dental health.

4. Dry Mouth

Saliva helps clean the mouth from food particles and supports a healthy oral environment. If your child does not produce enough saliva, this can eventually lead to bad breath.

Dry mouth can be caused by different things, such as mouth breathing. If your child has a stuffy nose and needs to breathe through their mouth, you can expect some bad breath. However, dry mouth can also be a sign of other conditions, so it’s important to have the child checked out just to be sure.

What Should You Do If Your Child Has Bad Breath?

Routine dental visits can help you stay on top of your child’s oral health needs. If you notice persistent bad breath, take them to a pediatric dentist for a consultation, to find out the root cause of this issue and access the right treatment.

In most cases, when you fix the dental issue the bad breath will also go away, leaving your child with a healthy and happy smile. 

If you need to take your child to the dentist, Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is happy to help! To get started, schedule an appointment at our office online.