We love our kids, but we don’t always love their breath. Unfortunately, bad breath sometimes comes with the parenting territory. If your child has bad breath after eating a pungent dinner, this is one thing, but if it becomes a persistent problem, you may need to take them for a checkup and cleaning. Read on in this blog from Desert Kids Dental to find out what causes foul breath in children and how you can address the problem.
There isn’t a singular source of halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, but there are a number of common causes.
Oral Hygiene - Failing to adequately brush and floss causes a buildup of a yellow sticky substance called plaque which is made of foul-smelling bacteria. This increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque feeds off of left behind sugars and converts them into acids to attack your enamel. This bacteria releases volatile sulfur compounds which cause bad breath.
Diet - Odiferous foods like garlic and onions naturally emit pungent smells, which can linger in the mouth for many hours, even after brushing. This is because sulfur compounds continue to be released when you exhale since it is in your bloodstream. The best solution is to wait it out. While brushing and mouthwash may not fix it, they can at least mitigate the smell.
Health - Bad breath can be a sign of an oral or overall health problem. You might have a cavity or an infection, especially if it’s accompanied by an abscess. Sinus infections and acid reflux can also cause bad breath.
Dry Mouth - Dry mouth can be caused by medications or certain medical conditions. Maybe your child just isn’t staying hydrated. When there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth, bacteria linger for longer and produce a foul smell.
Coated Tongue - Do you notice a white coating on your child’s tongue? This could be a sign that your child isn’t brushing their tongue, which harbors a lot of bacteria. Failing to brush the tongue results in a buildup of bacteria and dead skin cells, leading to a white tongue and smelly tongue.
The most important thing you can do to treat halitosis is practice good oral hygiene. Make sure your child is brushing their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day. Make sure they brush their tongue each time they clean their teeth.
Regular dental visits are also important for the early detection of oral health problems that can cause bad breath. Dental cleanings will remove plaque and food particle buildup for fresher breath and clean teeth.
We recommend that your child goes to the dentist every 6 months. You should start taking them to the dentist by the time they turn one. If it’s smelly foods that are causing their bad breath, try to limit their consumption of these foods.
While bad breath can be caused by certain medical conditions, it’s most often related to poor oral hygiene or dry mouth. Encourage your child to say hydrated by drinking lots of water and eating water-rich foods like cucumbers and watermelon.
If your child is dealing with bad breath, ask yourself when the last time they went to the dentist for a cleaning was. They may likely be overdue for a dental cleaning, especially because every child is different and some children are more prone to tooth decay than others. Contact us at Desert Kids Dental today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sandra Thompson.