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Why Some Children Suffer From Bad Breath

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They may be small and cute, but why do some toddlers and children suffer from breath that makes you flinch? Bad breath not only affects adults, many children experience unpleasant mouth odors from time to time, and here are some of the reasons why:

Children Bad breath

Poor dental hygiene

By the time teeth appear, around about 6 months, your child is beginning to learn the basics of dental hygiene as you implement a morning and night brushing routine. In some cases, bad breath can occur due to poor dental hygiene. Cavities, a build-up of plaque, or other dental problems could be the source of your little one’s problem. Check that your child’s tongue is clean as this can also be a common source of germs buildup. A trip to the dentist should identify and rectify any oral health issues.

Food stuck in nasal cavity or mouth crevices

A common cause of bad breath stems from germs attacking leftover food particles stuck between teeth, or hard to reach places inside the mouth. Small food items, like a pea or a seed, can make their way up nostrils and lodge in the nasal cavity – particularly for babies and toddlers. This can decay and release a foul odor unless removed by a dentist or doctor.


Bad breath can also stem from childhood illness, particularly sinus and throat infections. Gastrointestinal reflux, or regurgitation of food, is known to cause foul mouth odors. Your doctor can diagnose any medical issues that may be present and propose treatment options to target the issue. This should improve the bad breath that might be associated with this.

What they had for lunch

We all know that common foods like garlic and onions can cause an unpleasant breath for adults. The same goes for children. What they put in their mouths will affect how their breath smells. A diet rich in sugar can be particularly bad as sugar will attract germs and cause bad breath if proper oral care is not maintained.

Dry mouth

From sleeping with an open mouth to a congested nose, there are number of factors that cause dry mouth. Dry mouth means we have less saliva present in our mouths to wash away odor-causing germs. Make sure your little one isn’t suffering a blocked nose and increase his or her water intake to prevent dry mouth.


Dogs also require dental examinations and oral care, like teeth brushing, to prevent doggy death breath. They need special toothpaste designed for dogs, as the toothpaste we use can upset their stomachs.


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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.