Bad breath can quickly kill your child’s self-confidence and social life. Luckily, bad breath is not a lifetime condition. To help your child, you must first understand the cause of their stinky breath and how to prevent the most common issues.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Poor dental hygiene causes plaque and bacteria buildup on your child’s teeth. Over time, the food debris starts to decay and smell bad.
Besides bad breath, plaque and bacteria buildup may eat away at your child’s tooth enamel and result in cavities. Or the plaque may consume your kid’s gums and cause gum disease, which accelerates bad breath.
To prevent poor dental hygiene, have your child brush and floss their teeth at least twice daily. Also, make sure they see the dentist every six months for a cleaning.
Foods like garlic, onion, and cabbage can cause stinky breath because they contain sulfur. As your child digests these foods, they breathe out the odorous gas. Other smelly foods include fish and dairy products. So, if your child wants to avoid bad breath, they should limit their intake of these items.
Additionally, sugary snacks feed the bacteria in the mouth, leading to plaque buildup and cavities. To prevent this issue, make sure your child brushes their teeth after eating sugary snacks or drinks.
If your child observes proper oral hygiene and watches their diet, but their breath still stinks, dry mouth is the most likely cause. This condition, also known as xerostomia, occurs when there is not enough saliva in the mouth.
Saliva helps to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and food particles. So, when there is a lack of saliva, those particles build up and cause bad breath.
A range of aspects may cause dry mouth, including the side effects of certain medications. To prevent dry mouth, encourage your child to drink lots of water and avoid mouth breathing. Also, your kid may chew sugar-free gum to help stimulate saliva production.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach contents come back up into the throat. When that happens, those stomach acids mix with saliva and create an unpleasant smell. GERD may also cause a sour taste in your child’s mouth and cause them to vomit.
To prevent GERD, have your child eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of three large meals. Avoid foods that trigger stomach acids like spicy or greasy dishes. In addition, advise your child to stay upright during and after meals.
If your child’s breath smells and you have ruled out the above causes, then a sinus infection may be to blame. The reason is that bacteria get trapped in the sinuses and multiply, leading to an infection. Your child may experience a runny nose, sore throat, fever, and fatigue when that occurs. The infected mucus drains down the back of the throat, causing bad breath.
To prevent sinus infections, have your child avoid touching their face. Also, encourage your child to drink lots of fluids, use a humidifier in their room, and get plenty of rest. If allergies are the cause of the infection, work with your child’s allergist to find the best treatment options.
If your child already has bad breath, contact us at Crest Hill Family Dental for treatment options. We offer family dentistry, and you can trust us for reliable solutions. First, we will examine your child for signs of plaque buildup, gum disease, and other dental issues that may be causing their bad breath. We will then develop a treatment plan that suits your child’s needs.