Is your child’s bad breath a need for concern or a temporary condition?

As parents, at one time or another, we may have experienced foul breath coming from our child. Bad breath, or halitosis can be as embarrassing for a child, as it is for an adult, especially when pointed out by their peers. Unfortunately, if that happens, it is usually not in the most tactful way. Halitosis can be caused by a variety of conditions  — some being temporary, food-related, while others are the result of an illness or infection.

Park View’s Point of View
At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we place the utmost importance on dental education, not only for our young patients, but their parents, as well. If you encounter bad breath from your child, chances are it is nothing that a little brushing, flossing and rinsing can’t remedy. However, lingering bad breath can be the symptom of a more serious condition and should not be overlooked. In those cases, we urge parents to come in for a check up and often work with the child’s pediatrician if there is a medical reason for the ongoing halitosis.

Here are some common causes for halitosis in children:

1. Poor Hygiene Habits
Sometimes, simply just not brushing two times a day for two minutes and flossing can cause bad breath. Flossing will eliminate trapped food particles that can turn foul if not removed. A little non-alcoholic rinse will also provide added assurance for fresh breath.

2. Dry Mouth
Yes, keeping your active kids hydrated has another health benefit — good oral health. Lack of water can lead to less production of saliva and a dry mouth. This creates less of an environment for washing away bacteria in the mouth, which can cause bad breath and even promote tooth decay.

3. Illness or Sinus Infection
Often a sore throat, runny nose or sinus infection can cause fluid to collect in the nose and throat, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. This creates a breath odor that will most likely not be alleviated with brushing and rinsing. Children with sinus infections also tend to be mouth-breathers, causing a dry mouth and bad breath. Swollen tonsils are also associated with foul mouth odor. In these cases, a visit to your child’s pediatrician should be scheduled right away and their treatment plan followed.

4. Medication/Antibiotics
If your child is prescribed medication for one of the conditions mentioned above, that can also cause mouth odor and is often described as medicinal or even metallic. It is important to give them plenty of water while on medication.

5. Tooth Decay or Gum Disease
If your child does not show any physical signs of being sick, yet their halitosis continues, chances are they may have tooth decay or an oral condition affecting the gums. It is wise to come in to see the pediatric dentist right away for a check up and treatment.

6. Stuck Object
In very rare cases, a child can get a small object (bead, bean or food) stuck in their nostril and nasal passage. This can cause very foul breath. If you think this may be the case, your pediatrician should be consulted immediately to check the nasal passage and remove the object.

Feel free to contact us when it comes to your child’s oral health.

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