Dr. Shweta Tiwari
Pediatric Dentist

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Is bad breath troubling your kid? Find the culprit cause today...


Have you recently noticed or someone close to you suggested that your kid’s breath is not pleasant at all? Bad breath is embarrassing for any age group.

Bad breath means an unpleasant smell on breath when speaking or breathing out. It can affect you as well as your little ones.

In most of the cases this smell is from the bacteria piled up in your kid’s mouth, hiding within the food debris, inside the gum line, over the tooth in plaque or in a coating on the back side of tongue. Or at times it can be due to some specific food items. Getting rid of such causes of bad breath is very easy. Regular brushing, rinsing and flossing is a good old way of keeping mouth clean. Encourage your kid on regular tongue scraping, which removes the deposits present on the back side of the tongue. Maintain regular follow up visits to your pediatric dentist, who can further help improve the oral hygiene by professional cleaning and filing up tooth decays, which can again be a cause of bad breath due to bacterial retention. Remember, brushing cannot heal a cavity. So if your kid already has one, its time for a dental visit.

This was easy. Now lets discuss about the harder scenario. What if, even after all this the foul breath is persistent? What to look out for?

Bad breath isn’t always solely an oral health issue; there can be other causes that need a different solution. Lets look over them one by one:

  1. Dry mouth: kids are another name of energy, running around here and there whole day, the amount of water consumed by them is less at times, thus producing less amount of saliva too. Saliva helps to cleanse the mouth, thus in its absence breath becomes smelly. Also look out for mouth breathing habit in your kid, a major contributor to dry mouth.
  2. Tonsils: have a good look in your child’s back of the mouth. So you see healthy pink color tonsils, or do they look different than usual? Any red colored, swollen, white or yellow spotted tonsils can be the culprit cause of the bad breath. If you are unable to differentiate, get them examined by your pediatrician.
  3. Sinus infection: has your kid been suffering from sore throat or stuffy nose in the recent past? Well, these can at times lead to sinus infection, allowing the bacteria to gather up in the sinus fluid, within the nasal passages or throat. Consult your pediatrician and get your kid medicated.
  4. Foreign object: Surprised??? Well, kids are both curious and adventurous. Curious to know whether their nose/nostril is the right size for inserting small food particles or toys; and adventurous enough to try it out too!!! Now this inserted object can get stuck inside and later on if left there for long time (kids are forgetful too), may create nasty smell. So if other reasons are ruled out, get a nasal passage check up done too.
  5. Medicines or illness: long term medications can result in a bad odor. Some systemic infections or illness like liver or kidney problems, diabetes mellitus etc can be yet another reason for the same.

Thus, go through the given check list to find the culprit cause, get it cause treated today and give your child the gift of breathing and smiling happily.