Bad Breath in Kids: What You Need to Know

Bad Breath in Kids: What You Need to Know Causes of Bad Breath in Kids Preventing Bad Breath in Kids

If your child has stinky breath, there are measures you can take to help make their breath fresher. Bad breath in kids is often a cause of poor oral hygiene, but other factors may be involved that contribute to the foul-smelling odor.

Causes of Bad Breath in Kids

To curb bad breath in children it’s important to first identify the underlying cause.

  • Certain foods and beverages: Soda, garlic, onions, and even cheese can contribute to bad breath in children.
  • Dry mouth: When saliva production is low, bacteria is not washed away and accumulates in the mouth, leading to less-than-pleasant breath.
  • Mouth breathing: Breathing through the mouth, whether from a cold or simply out of habit, reduces saliva production resulting in bad breath.
  • Oral health issues: Cavities, gum disease, mouth sores, and plaque all contribute to bad breath.
  • Bacteria: Not paying attention to the tongue during brushing allows bacteria to fester, promoting bad breath in children.
  • Illness: Certain medications and health conditions, including sinus infections and allergies, leave the mouth dry and smelly.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Not following a thorough oral care routine is usually the main culprit contributing to bad breath in kids.

Preventing Bad Breath in Kids

Encourage your kids to practice a proper oral care routine for the best defense against bad breath.

  1. Have them brush twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste featuring their favorite characters and flavors
    Learn more on how to brush kids teeth.
  2. Use a tongue scraper or an electric toothbrush equipped with a tongue cleaning mode to remove debris and bacteria from the tongue
  3. Make sure they floss at least once every day for a tooth-by-tooth clean
  4. Replace their toothbrush or brush head once every three months
  5. Rinse with an anticavity fluoride mouthwash for instant freshness
  6. Make brushing more fun with kid-friendly apps
  7. Visit a dental professional twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings
    Learn more about when to take your baby or toddler to the dentist.

If your child suffers from chronic bad breath, or halitosis, be sure to take them to the dentist or dental hygienist right away. If their dental professional determines their mouth to be healthy, then the underlying cause of bad breath may be rooted in something more serious and a visit to their primary physician is recommended.


Discover More

Recommended ArticleHow to Brush Your Teeth for Kids
Instagram Icon


Enabling healthier oral care habits