Infants have such sweet smelling breath, but there will come a day when your little toddler comes to you for a snuggle, and you notice that the tide has turned. There are lots of reasons why kids get bad breath and most of them are pretty easy to fix.
Our mouths are home to a wide variety of bacteria, and kids are no exception to this rule. They feed on particles of food left behind after meals and on plaque buildup on our teeth. Most of the time, bad breath in kids is caused by a simple lack of consistent hygiene. Kids are slippery creatures and it can be hard for you to keep track of whether or not they’re brushing and flossing on time every day. If bad breath starts to turn up, you probably just need to double down on brushing efforts. A good habit to get into is to brush after every meal. As soon as your kid leaves the table, remind them to go brush. Don’t forget to have them brush their tongue too, since this is where a lot of bacteria likes to hang out.
The saliva in our mouths does a great job of keeping bacteria in check. If our mouths are dry for some reason, then bacteria can grow out of control and cause bad breath. Kids do lots of crazy things that can disrupt saliva production and leave their mouth dry. Breathing through their mouth, sucking their thumb, or chewing on their clothes or blanket are just a few examples of reasons why your kid may have a dry mouth. If you suspect that this is the source of their bad breath, encourage them to drink more water, or give them a sugar free breath mint to suck on.
Signs of Illness
Sometimes bad breath can be more than a hygiene issue and can be an indication of more serious health problems. Dental problems like an abscess or a bad cavity could cause bad breath. Illnesses like tonsillitis, a sinus infection, or acid reflux can cause bad breath too. Breath that smells sweet, or that smells like acetone can be a symptom of diabetes. If your child has ingested something potentially harmful, this can cause strange smelling breath too. If your child’s bad breath is accompanied by other troubling symptoms, or if it just doesn’t smell like normal bad breath, seek medical attention immediately.