Ensuring your children brush their teeth every day, twice a day, can be a hard fought battle, but it’s one of the most important skills you can instill in them. It’s a common myth that caring for baby teeth isn’t as important as caring for adult teeth. However, even though baby teeth will be replaced, the childhood practice of oral hygiene will carry over into adulthood. Even if you’ve done your best to make sure your kids are brushing as often as they should, sometimes they seemingly inexplicably develop bad breath that can cause embarrassment for them and concern for you. If you’ve ever wondered about the causes of bad breath in kids, read on to learn more about the seemingly mysterious ways odor can develop!
They could be dehydrated.
Kids are generally much more active than adults, and all of their playing and running could be causing them to become dehydrated. While dehydration may not seem like an obvious cause of bad breath, lack of water in the body can lead to dry mouth. Saliva helps to wash away odor causing bacteria and keep the mouth clean, and a lack of it can lead to a buildup of smelly bacteria and is even a cause of cavities and tooth decay! Bad breath is yet another reason to ensure kids drink plenty of water.
There’s something in their mouth or nose.
While not an obvious answer, it could be possible that there’s a foreign object lodged somewhere in their mouth or nasal passage, especially if the child is younger. Kids are curious and adventurous, and sometimes this leads them to put things in places they don’t belong. Small toys, beans and peas, and other small objects are just the right size to stick up a nostril and over time, something lodged in a nasal passage will begin to give off a foul odor. If you suspect that the smell may be coming from the back of the throat or nasal passage, bring your child to a doctor to have them checked out.
It may be slightly more serious.
Both infected tonsils and sinus infections can cause a bad smell to emanate from the mouth. If your child has recently developed bad breath, ask them to open their mouth so you can inspect their tonsils. If they are swollen, red, or have white marks on them they almost certainly have an infection in their throat. Alternatively, a sore throat coupled with a stuffy nose could be signs of a sinus infection. Troubles with the sinuses lead to a buildup of liquid in the nasal passage and throat, which becomes a hotbed for stinky bacteria to gather. A doctor will be able to prescribe antibiotics to clear up any kind of nose or throat infection, and the smell should vanish as the medicine does its job!
If you think you’ve done all you can to curtail the stinky breath of your child and you’re concerned there may be something more going on, give us a call at Advanced Family Dental & Orthodontics today!