Bad breath in toddlers

Healthy children do sometimes have bad breath. If the smell disappears after brushing his teeth or rinsing his mouth, it's normal. Also, keep in mind that what seems like bad breath to you may not be offensive to others. That is said to be normal bacteria living in the mouth and interacting with leftover food particles could cause true breath odor in a healthy child. The food particles can be between the teeth, at the gum line, on the tongue, or on the surface of the tonsils at the back of your child's throat. Bacteria that react to saliva also can cause bad breath, especially if left undisturbed in the mouth for a period of time. This is one reason we all have morning breath. After a long night's sleep, the reaction between the substances in our mouth has caused an odor, which remains until we brush or rinse it away.


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends waiting until your child is at least 2 to use fluoridated toothpaste, and then no more than a pea-size amount, That's because ingesting fluoride can cause white spots on your child's teeth when he gets older. Also, most children who live in areas with fluoridated water will get more than enough fluoride from drinking tap water or from eating food cooked in tap water. If you want to use toothpaste, you can try a mild-tasting children's formula without fluoride, or even baking soda. Poor dental hygiene with tartar buildup, gingivitis, or a dental abscess could also cause bad breath. Ask his pediatrician to inspect his teeth and gums. If the pediatrician finds any problems, I would recommend an evaluation by a pediatric dentist.

Things to be done at first

If the bad breath persists, mention your concerns to his pediatrician, who can rule out other causes. The first thing the doctor will probably check is your toddler's nose, to see whether your child has a foreign body, such as a piece of food or small toy, lodged in one of his nostrils. The only symptom may be breath odor or persistent nasal discharge. A sinus infection or respiratory infection such as bronchitis can also cause bad breath. The odor may be caused by inflammation of the pharynx or of the tonsils. Even if the tonsils aren't inflamed, they may have food and debris trapped in their many crevices. Your child's doctor can check for this debris, which is usually white, during a throat exam. If this is the problem, it will resolve itself once the debris is removed. Lastly, some children with gastro esophageal reflux, or regurgitation of their food, have a foul breath odor. However, if this were the culprit your toddler would almost certainly be experiencing other symptoms, such as discomfort after eating.

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