Why Does My Child's Breath Smell? 5 Common Reasons For Stinky Breath

As a parent, you’ve got plenty to worry about. And while smelly breath may not be high on your list, it can sometimes indicate serious oral health problems. So if your child’s breath has been smelling bad recently, it’s a good idea to understand what may be causing this issue. Read on, and the team at Cascadia Kids Dentistry will discuss a few things that may be causing or contributing to smelly breath in kids.

1. Inadequate Oral Hygiene

Has your child started to brush their own teeth? If so, they may not be doing a good job. This can cause bacteria to multiply and cause bad breath, particularly when they wake up in the morning.

Kids can usually brush on their own between 5-6 years of age, but we recommend supervising them when they brush. Make sure they clean each tooth thoroughly, brush for at least 2 minutes, and use fluoride toothpaste. This helps prevent bad breath and keeps their mouths clean. 

2. Tooth Decay 

If your child has not been keeping up with their oral hygiene, they may also have cavities (tooth decay). As bacteria builds up in cavities, this can cause bad breath. Look for black or discolored patches on the teeth, or holes or deep pits in the tooth’s surface. These are indications of cavities.

Cavities can be avoided with proper oral hygiene. You also should feed your child a low-sugar diet. If you have a child who still uses a bottle, never put them to bed with it unless it contains only water. Sleeping with a bottle of milk, juice, or formula can cause a serious condition called “baby bottle decay” as the sugars in the liquid sit on your child’s teeth overnight. 

3. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth happens when saliva flow is inadequate and can’t rinse away bacteria, food particles, and acid. This can lead to bad breath and also raises the risk of cavities. 

While there are some medications that cause dry mouth, the most common cause of it in young kids is dehydration and mouth breathing. Proper hydration is necessary to maintain saliva flow, so make sure your child gets enough water. 

Mouth breathing also dries out the mouth, and can cause future oral health complications like orthodontic problems. Consult with a dentist or a pediatrician to learn more and see how you can stop your child from mouth breathing. 

4. Respiratory And Other Infections 

Bad breath can be caused by other issues. Commonly, a flu, cold, or other respiratory infection can cause bad breath since there is a large buildup of bacteria in the airway. Tonsillitis (tonsil infection) or tonsil stones can also cause bad breath in kids.

Worried About Bad Breath? Come To Cascadia Kids Dentistry! 

Sometimes, bad breath is not a big deal. It may just mean your child ate some smelly foods! But if your child’s breath constantly smells strange or bad, come to Cascadia Kids Dentistry. Our pediatric dentists can get to the root of the issue, and provide your child with the care they need. Contact us online to schedule your appointment in Issaquah today.

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