Whenever you interact with your child, you may have noticed that their breath smells bad even when you know that they have brushed and flossed their teeth. If your child's bad breath, or halitosis, continues for more than a few days, there are a couple of possible causes that should be addressed to help get rid of it.
1. Bacteria Build-up on Their Tongue
While teaching your child to take care of their teeth and gums, you were probably meticulous about showing them how to properly brush and floss to keep food and bacteria from causing problems with their teeth and gums. However, bacteria can also grow on the surface of the tongue, which is often neglected when performing oral hygiene.
Tiny food particles can leave a residue that becomes trapped in the small folds of the tongue's surface. Because the tongue is moist and warm, bacteria often congregate and grow rapidly on its surface, especially if the germs have a ready food source. As the bacteria grow, they emit a foul odor as a byproduct, which can then lead to chronic bad breath.
If you suspect this could be the case, teach your child to also brush their tongue while brushing their teeth. You can also give them a child-approved mouthwash to help kill any hidden bacteria.
2. Infection in Their Mouth
After showing your child how to brush their tongue and use mouthwash, their breath may still have a constant bad odor. If this is the case, there is a possibility that there is an infection somewhere in their mouth. Not only does the byproducts from bacteria cause the odor, but if the infection is bad enough, your child's saliva production may decrease and affect its ability to cleanse the mouth.
An infection can occur anywhere in your child's mouth, but you should look carefully for any inflamed gums or discolored discharge. While looking at the teeth, also look for any inflammation in the back of your child's throat, since tonsillitis can also cause bad breath is caused by a bacterial infection. If you do see any unusual symptoms, a visit to a medical or dental professional is warranted so that any possible infection can be treated.
If your child has bad breath, having your child chew gum or eat breath mints will only mask the odor. To get rid of their halitosis completely, the underlying cause will need to be diagnosed and treated. Schedule an appointment for your child with a pediatric dentistry office