Why Does My Kid’s Breath Smell Bad? Common Contributing Factors

If your kid has bad breath (halitosis), you may be wondering what’s causing it. There are dozens of things that could contribute to bad breath, but in this blog from Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll take a look at the 5 most common contributing factors. Let’s get started.

1. Putting Your Child to Bed With a Bottle of Milk or Formula

If you have an infant or toddler, this could be the cause of their bad breath. Putting your little one to bed with a bottle that contains anything except water is a bad idea. This is because oral bacteria will reproduce very quickly within your child’s mouth, particularly if they fall asleep with the bottle in their mouth. This, in turn, will cause very bad breath.

Over time, this can even cause severe tooth decay called “bottle mouth.” Make sure to never put your child to bed with a bottle of milk or formula. You should also ensure you’re brushing their gums and teeth before bed to inhibit bacteria buildup, and in the morning to remove even more bacteria.

2. Improper Hydration or Dry Mouth

If your child isn’t drinking enough water, their saliva production will slow down, and this can lead to bad breath. Saliva is important for washing away bacteria and food particles.

Your child may also have dry mouth (xerostomia), which is a condition that causes poor saliva production. This can be caused by a lot of things, including diseases like diabetes, certain medications, and other such issues. If you think your child has dry mouth, talk to their pediatrician about it right away.

3. Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing can be a major contributing factor to dry mouth. Consistently breathing through the mouth dries it out, and can lead to bad breath. Not only that, but mouth breathing can also cause or indicate a variety of oral development issues that may require orthodontic treatment in the future.

If your child breathes through their mouth, the development of their palate and upper jaw may be inhibited. If you notice them mouth breathing consistently, they may need to get an ortho screening to determine if they need early orthodontic treatment.

4. Poor Overall Oral Hygiene

If your child has recently started brushing their own teeth, this may be the issue. Kids may not brush properly on their own, or may brush lazily or not at all. It’s important to supervise your kids while they brush your teeth until they’re old enough to consistently brush on their own.

If your child isn’t brushing properly, this will result in bacteria buildup that may cause bad breath, as well as issues like gum disease and tooth decay.

5. Infections or Diseases

Sinus infections and other respiratory infections can cause stinky breath that won’t be cured with any amount of toothbrushing or mouthwash. Even the common cold could cause bacteria buildup and bad breath.

Other issues could include swollen tonsils (tonsillitis) or tonsil stones. If your child’s tonsils look red or inflamed, or you can see spots of yellow or white on them, this could indicate tonsil problems that lead to bacteria buildup and bad breath.

Need Help? Come to Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry Right Away!

If you need help understanding why your child’s breath smells bad, Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry is here to help. Dr. Jason Brock is an experienced dentist and can provide your child with the care they need for a healthy mouth. Contact us online or give us a call at (281) 461-7470 to schedule an appointment for your little one today.

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