Bad breath in children is uncommon but still a problem for some children. Bad breath in a child usually points to a bigger problem. It can be as simple as a dry mouth or as serious as a lung abscess. Prolonged bad breath in a child that is not solved by swishing some water in the mouth or brushing should be looked into more closely.
Dr. Rob Andrew points out the common causes of bad breath;
Saliva washes away food particles from the mouth. When the mouth is producing less than needed (xerostamia), bacteria can accumulate and lead to bad breath.
Poor dental hygiene
Kids need to brush and floss too. If this is not done regularly and properly, plaque accumulates on the teeth and gums. Bacteria grow on the tongue leading to bad breath. Kids should be taught to brush the teeth too.
Kids especially those under three tend to stick all manner of objects in their noses. If there is something lodged in the nose, the kid will breathe through the mouth making it dry hence bad breath.
If your kid has a cold or allergy that is making the nose stuffy and blocked, she will try to breathe through the mouth drying it out. More serious illnesses like tonsillitis and lung abscesses can also make the child have bad breath if there is body tissue breaking down.
Strong odor can come from eating foods with strong smells like garlic or onions.
Ingestion of some poisons leaves telltale breath. This includes swallowing turpentine, cyanide, acetone, alcohol, phenol, and salicylate. The kid’s breath will smell like acetone, bitter almonds or violets. This should signal an emergency and prompt a call to the emergency services.
Eliminating bad breath
- Instilling good dental hygiene. Be a role model in dental hygiene. Show the child how to brush properly including brushing the tongue. Ensure the kid brushes at least twice a day with kid-friendly toothpaste.
- Daily flossing to clean particles caught between the teeth.
- Changing toothbrushes often for better brushing using sharp bristles.
- Regular checkups by the dentists. Kid friendly dental clinics like Urban Smiles Family Dental will work on your kid without the child developing dental phobia.
This is prolonged bad breath that is not eliminated by the means above. The best thing is to have the kid looked into more closely the dentist. Doing this early enough can prevent worsening of a bad condition for example tonsillitis.
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