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What’s That Smell? Bad Breath in Kids

added on: October 26, 2020

Bad breath isn’t just an adult problem, it’s actually fairly common in kids, too. But what exactly causes bad breath in kids? Is it something to be worried about? How can you get rid of it? Don’t worry, your pediatric dentist in Chattanooga is here to help. 

What Causes Bad Breath?

Typically the kind of temporary bad breath that most people experience can be attributed to stinky foods or drinks. But bad breath that doesn’t go away can’t be blamed on a potent snack. Chronic bad breath (known as halitosis) usually means there is a bigger problem lingering in your child’s mouth. Most of the time, that problem is bacteria that live and feed off tooth plaque and leftover foodstuffs. When these bacteria feed, hydrogen sulfide is produced, and that’s what gives a mouth a not-so-pleasant smell. 

Why Do Children Get Bad Breath?

Kids are just learning to care for their smiles, and chances are their oral hygiene routine isn’t top-notch. It’s common for us to see children whose hygiene routines do not include flossing once and brushing twice a day. Even if they do, they often rush through these tasks, leaving bacteria behind. And where there are bacteria, there’s a good chance of a stinky mouth. An ongoing problem of bad breath could also point to gum disease, so it’s extremely important to maintain regularly scheduled appointments with your pediatric dentist in Chattanooga to properly diagnose the problem and treat it accordingly.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath in Kids?

Once we know what’s causing the bad breath, and usually it’s improper hygiene, the best plan of action is to make sure that your child knows how to brush properly, how long to brush (two minutes is recommended — tell them to hum “Happy Birthday” twice), and how to floss. Also, make sure he’s not ignoring his tongue. Our tongues hold a lot of bacteria in the dips and grooves, so a gentle scrubbing is crucial. Lastly, try to encourage him to brush after meals to quickly remove any food particles that may be hanging around. It’s also a great habit to take into adulthood. 

Your child’s diet may also affect his breath. Besides solid oral hygiene, and in addition to limiting sugary snacks, we recommend drinking plenty of water every day. Water neutralizes acid and encourages saliva production so bacteria are more easily removed from teeth and the mouth. 

If these solutions don’t work, call your Chattanooga pediatric dentist. We’ll check out what’s going on, determine the underlying cause, and recommend the best solution for your child. If you just need some tips on how to make brushing fun or how to teach your little one to take care of his teeth, just ask. We’re here to help smiles grow healthy!


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