It is common for children to have bad breath.
Children munch too many sugary or sticky foods. When these foods are left in the mouth and teeth, they serve as a shelter for breeding bacteria which causes bacterial dental infection and dental caries. This dental caries and tooth decay are the main reason for bad breath in children.
What causes bad breath in children?
Here are the causes of bad breath in children:
(1) Reduction in saliva.
Saliva inside the mouth helps to remove and flush away bacteria from the mouth and thereby keeps the mouth free from bacteria. But, children often sleep most and while sleeping saliva is not secreted inside the mouth. Thus, when children sleep a lot, more anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath increases and multiplies, causing chronic smelly breath also known as toddler morning breath.
(2) Children breathing from the mouth.
Bad smelly mouth during the daytime might be due to dry mouth. When children breathe through the mouth, it causes dry mouth, giving an excellent environment for the anaerobic bacteria to multiply and thrive in number. Mouth drying in children can be because of habits such as sucking thumb, hence causing bad breath.
Breathing from the mouth in children might be due to blockage in the nasal passages. Obstruction in nasal passages might be because of allergies, sinus infections, colds, enlarged adenoids, and tonsils.
How to cure bad breath in children?
The best remedy to reduce bad breath in children is to get rid of bad smell causing bacteria (anaerobic) from the mouth and maximizing the saliva production in the mouth.
(1) Brush teeth and tongue regularly.
Brushing teeth daily and properly will allow your child to eliminate bacteria and bad breath. Motivate your child to make a regular habit of brushing teeth after having food. Flossing is very important in order to remove food debris stuck between the teeth, which would otherwise foster bacteria to form plaque. And don’t forget to clean the tongue. You can buy an electric toothbrush for your kid for scraping off food debris from under the tongue.
(2) Rinse the child’s mouth.
Rinsing the mouth of your child with antibacterial mouthwashes or that contain fluoride will stop plaque formation and kill bacteria. And also, use toothpaste that has baking soda and fluoride for stronger and better tooth enamel and thereby reducing bacterial infection.
(3) Chew sugarless gum.
Older children can be given sugarless gums like Xylitol many times during the day and after having food. This will increase saliva production inside the mouth and stop the mouth-drying, which will, in turn, obstruct multiplication of bacterial growth, hence, reducing bad breath (halitosis).
(4) Change your child’s diet.
Rather than sugars and starchy carbohydrates, provide your child vegetables, wheat, and whole fruits. Feed plain sugarless yogurt to decrease the hydrogen sulfide production level. Give your child to munch on carrots, pears, berries, apples and any chewy snacks in order to encourage saliva production inside the mouth and prevent drying mouth. Offer your child spices like mint, cinnamon, and fennel seeds to reduce bad breath. Eating parsley in meals and after food will help to eliminate halitosis in children.
Despite all these solutions if the child still continues to emit out bad breath, take him to a doctor because the cause might be some other critical underlying reason.