Bad Breath and Your Child: Causes and Ways to Help

If your child has a bad breath problem, his or her oral hygiene may be a cause. Foul-smelling breath, also known as halitosis, is disconcerting. For teens, it could be embarrassing. However, taking some extra hygiene steps could alleviate or lessen bad breath in your child. Continue reading to learn how and why bad breath develops and how to help your child maintain his or her dental health.

How Poor Hygiene Causes Bad Breath

Many cases of bad breath are directly related to bacterial overgrowth in the mouth. When your child doesn't brush well enough, bacteria from food and drinks build up on the teeth. This build-up ends up unleashing a myriad of other issues. Bacteria give off hydrogen sulfide that causes an awful stinky scent. On top of that, gum and tooth infections can also emit an odor.

Ways to Improve Your Child's Dental Hygiene

You can help your older child to improve their oral care routine by convincing them that their bad breath may improve if they do so. However, very young children may need extra help or encouragement. After your child's initial dental visit, your dentist will give you ideas on how to care for your baby's teeth. As they get older, you should show your child how to brush. Make sure they brush for at least two minutes. Help them floss as well.

When your child gets to an age where they can brush unsupervised, they may need help and encouragement to do it properly. You can make them more likely to brush by setting up a routine, such as always brushing before bed or after waking up or eating a meal. You can also brush your teeth with your child. Use timers or have them sing a 2-minute long song to let them know how long to brush. Some toothbrushes have built-in timers for convenience.

Times When Your Child Should See a Medical Doctor

Much of the time, good oral hygiene improves bad breath. However, if the breath doesn't improve after a while, then the cause may not be hygiene-related. Kids with severe sinus problems, for example, can have bad breath. Some kids may have dry mouth issues. Other cases could be genetic. You may need to see your pediatrician to determine the exact cause of the bad breath.

Talk to your dentist if you think dental issues are causing your child's bad breath. If the problem is an infection, your dentist may request additional measures to improve your child's oral health. However, if your child's breath does not improve after improving oral hygiene, then you may have an additional problem to address. Make an appointment with a pediatric dental care service to learn more.