Bad breath happens to everyone once in a while, even to children. Many different things can cause bad breath, officially referred to as halitosis. Although everyone gets bad breath sometimes, if your child has bad breath all the time or it is frequent and very worrisome, you should consult their pediatric dentist or doctor. Poor brushing and flossing can cause excess plaque and bacteria which leads to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Or, smelly breathing can be from an illness like strep throat or a sinus infection. Sometimes a persistent case might be caused by enlarged adenoids or diabetes. So if something just is not right with your child (and he did not just eat a lot of garlic and onions), definitely seek a professional exam.
Preventing bad breath at home
Oral hygiene is about more than cavities. Proper brushing and flossing protects the teeth and gums. It will also keep breath smelling fresh. If bad breath is due to something your child recently ate, a good mouth cleaning will certainly help. Always make sure your child brushes twice per day. Sometimes, a third brushing might be called for – if your child just ate a lot of smelly or sticky foods, for example. Bacteria like to hide in between the teeth, so flossing daily is also important. And remember to clean the tongue too.
Home remedies to reduce breath odor
Encourage your child to drink lots of water. Sodas, juices, and sports drinks can coat the mouth and encourage bacteria to grow when not properly cleaned away. Water is best for preventing dehydration, and chronic dry mouth can lead to bad breath.
Feed the family crunchy fruits and vegetables. These can help to clean plaque from teeth and, therefore, freshen breath. Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C, which helps protect gums and other tissues from bacterial infection.
Ask the pediatrician about parsley as an option for your child. Parsley is a natural breath freshener that also aids in digestion. If the doctor feels like this is a good option, encourage your child to chew on a small piece of parsley after a meal. Make sure they do not eat too much.
Baking soda can change pH levels in the mouth and clean away bacteria. Ask the dentist about baking soda toothpaste or brushing your child’s teeth occasionally with a small amount of baking soda. This will depend on the age of your child, so check with the dentist first.
Capital City Pediatric Dentistry specializes in pediatric dentistry and works with infants, toddlers, adolescents and teenagers. Contact our office today to make an appointment for your loved ones.