Why Does My Kid’s Breath Stink? 5 Common Causes Of Bad Breath In Children

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Everyone has bad breath from time to time, and kids are no exception. But if your child’s breath smells bad all the time, you may be wondering if you should be concerned. Bad breath (also called “halitosis) in kids can be caused by lots of different things. Read on, and in this blog from First Smiles Children’s Dentistry, we’ll go over some of the most common causes of bad breath in children.

1. Food And Bacteria Buildup From Poor Oral Hygiene

If your child has recently started brushing their own teeth, this may be the cause of their bad breath. Kids can usually start brushing on their own around the ages of 5-6. However, it’s important to make sure they learn proper brushing techniques. If they're not brushing their teeth thoroughly or for long enough, this can lead to the buildup of food particles and bacteria in their mouths.

This can lead to bad breath. And, eventually, poor oral hygiene will lead to cavities, and could even cause other oral health problems like gum disease. So make sure your child is brushing at least twice a day for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste, and is thoroughly cleaning each of their teeth.

2. Cavities And Infected Teeth

Cavities happen when bacteria builds up in your child’s mouth, consume food particles, and excrete acid that eats away at their teeth. Bacteria smell bad, so if your child’s breath stinks, it’s possible that they may have one or more cavities.

If left untreated, cavities can get deeper, and lead to tooth infections. Like cavities, tooth infections lead to a buildup of bacteria in the mouth, which may cause bad breath. If your child is brushing properly and their breath still smells bad, this could be caused by cavities or tooth infections.

3. Gingivitis (Gum Disease)

Gingivitis is not very common in kids, but it can happen if your little one isn’t taking care of their teeth. This is an infection of the gums, and it happens when bacteria-filled plaque begins to build up between your child’s teeth and gums. Eventually, this can harden into a substance called “tartar.” 

Plaque and tartar buildup can cause bad breath. The good news is that gum disease is usually treatable in kids. With gum disease treatment and proper at-home oral hygiene, kids can reverse gum disease and get a healthy smile once again.

4. Dehydration And Poor Saliva Flow

If your child isn’t getting enough water or they breathe through their mouth, this can cause poor saliva flow. Saliva is essential for washing away food particles and bacteria, and neutralizing acid in your child’s mouth.

If their mouth is dry and they don’t produce enough saliva, this can lead to bad breath. Eventually, poor saliva flow may also raise the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health conditions.

5. Dietary Factors

Sometimes, your child’s breath may simply smell because of what they eat. Some foods like garlic, onions, cheese, fish, and others can contribute to bad breath. Having your child drink water after a meal or brush their teeth is usually enough to get rid of bad breath from food.

Worried About Your Child’s Bad Breath? Get Help From First Smiles Children’s Dentistry!

If your child has bad breath that won’t go away, this could indicate a number of different oral health problems. So don’t wait. If you’re concerned about your little one’s halitosis, Dr. Chris Ha is here to help. As an experienced children’s dentist in Modesto, Dr. Ha can get to the bottom of their bad breath, and provide you with the solutions your little one needs.

With treatment from our team, your child can enjoy a healthy smile and fresh breath, too! Contact us online or give us a call at (209) 343-3500 to get started. We’re always accepting new patients in Modesto, and we’re looking forward to meeting you and your kids!

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