Treating and Preventing Bad Breath in Children

Bad breath or halitosis is common in children. That’s the sad truth that we parents, should face every day because we cannot just take to see our children without friends.   That being said, you should know that halitosis in children is not a laughing matter or something you should neglect because it could have a big impact on our children’s psychological growth that may become a burden when they grow up.

Common Types of Bad Breath

Child eating
Basically, there are three types of bad breath. These ones are the most common a person can experience, although, there are types which are caused by more serious health problems and need immediate medical attention.

1. Morning Breath
– when your child wakes up in the morning, his/her breath could be foul due to dry mouth when he/she was asleep. The mouth produces its own antiseptic through saliva. When it’s dry, bacteria will a have a good time multiplying inside, thus, producing a foul smell in the morning or right after sleep.
2. Temporary Bad Breath– when your child forgets to brush his/her teeth before and after going to bed, or even after eating a snack, he/she could develop a temporary bad breath. More often, poor hygiene would also lead to this oral condition.
3. Chronic Bad Breath – there are certain diseases that may cause bad breath. They could be inside the mouth, the respiratory system or anywhere inside the human body.   For example, people with ulcers may also have bad breath because according to the research (1) published on November 2008, the bugs that cause stomach ulcers may also cause halitosis.   As I said earlier, bad breath is a common condition. CNN reported on February that there are up to 90 million Americans suffering from bad breath or halitosis. But the good news is that it is easier to get rid of.

Five Tips to Treat and Prevent Bad Breath in Children

Little girl and a twooth
When your child is having a bad breath, don’t panic. There are plentiful of things you can do to treat and prevent it from coming back. These tips may be very helpful to you.
1. Brush Daily– the most common and immediate move you can do to eliminate and prevent bad breath is to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. It will literally brush away bacteria in the mouth. Don’t forget to also brush the tongue because more than half of bad-breath-causing bacteria can be on it.   As a parent, you should be the one to initiate it. Children love to play and often forget about proper hygiene, or they don’t even care about it.
2. Rinse the Mouth – bacteria buildup in the mouth is faster than you think. You, therefore, need to prevent the buildup by letting your child rinse his/her mouth with a bacteria-fighting mouthwash.   You should look for mild mouthwashes specifically formulated for children. Your mouthwash may be too harsh for your child’s mouth, gums and taste buds.

3. Avoid Candies – for long-term prevention you should minimize your child’s intake of candies and sweets because it may create cavities or cause tooth decay. In children, tooth decay is often the cause of bad breath.

4. Minimize Garlic and Onions – these spices already contain mercaptan, a sulphur compound produced by bad breath bacteria. And as your child digests aromatic substances contained in garlic, they get into his/her bloodstream, circulate through the lungs and greet you or his/her friends with a garlic breath. The fact is it may take a little while to completely get rid of garlic breath.

5. Don’t Stress Out Your Child – children should never be stressed out because first, it may affect their growth and second, it may cause bad breath. One thing that could stress your child out is too much play.   Stress can cause hormonal imbalance affecting saliva production in the mouth which consequently leads to bad breath.   It would always be the responsibility of parents to make sure their children follow proper hygiene. After all, it would break our hearts to see our children alone, with no one to play with. Therefore, do as much as you can to prevent bad breath in your children.


About the Author
   Harold Hisona is a medical practitioner with years of experience. He runs a blog on alternative medicine while practicing his medical profession. Get more health tips from him at