Causes and Prevention of Bad Breath in Children

Before we know why your children have bad breath let us first know about what bad breath is. When your toddler snuggles up to you and he opens his mouth to say something, do you notice an unpleasant smell from his mouth? Yes, that is bad breath. It is not only common in children but also in adults and every person will have to have bad breath at least a few times a month. Bad breath is a name given to the medical condition halitosis. Halitosis is a medical term quoted by the American Dental Association for bad breath. One can brush and floss his teeth twice a day but that doesn’t assure you to keep away bad breath permanently.

Causes and Prevention of Bad Breath in Children

Who does not like kids? Kids are the most loved in a family. Kids are precious. Children from a young age like to play a lot and do not think much of their hygiene and at that age, they do not care or do not even know little about the meaning of the word hygiene. Kids just want to play and eat lots of chocolates and other tasty food until a certain age when they know more about bad breath.

Bad breath in children and adults is common. Bad breath may be unpleasant to the other person when you open your mouth to talk. Children go through this more because of their teeth brushing and food diet. Now let us know about bad breath in children and know a little interesting information about it.


Causes of Bad Breath in Kids

Now let us know about more causes of bad breath in kids.

Poor oral hygiene:

Everyone these days knows if you don’t keep a routine of brushing and flossing something is going to happen that day. Bad breath!! If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, it makes you have bad breath.


When your child eats specific food, it leads to bad breath. As the first step of digestion starts in the mouth, when the kid chews on food it leaves tiny particles of food that form into bacteria and give out an unpleasant smell.

We all love extra onions while we eat different kinds of food, the same way kids love to have garlic and onion which changes the taste of the food massively. These two are sulfur-producing food that when eaten by kids is absorbed in the child’s bloodstream and thus bad breath remains for a longer time. One cannot brush it off and the smell stays for hours. However, this is not harmful and it’s temporary.

Bad breath:

Bad breath in children is also caused by dry mouth. Dry mouth or also can be called mouth breathing can be caused by certain medications, finger-sucking, or general dehydration. Snoring or mouth breathing when a child sleeps in the night leads to evaporation of the saliva. Saliva plays a very important role in fighting off these odor-causing bacteria. Saliva also plays an important role in the protection of the teeth as the absence of saliva leads to tooth decay and cavities. A child should have enough water every day and his parents should make sure he has a sufficient amount of water every day.

Foreign objects in a child’s mouth:

Do you still recognize your toddler’s bad breath it is very difficult to understand how your toddler still has that bad breath even though he brushes his teeth twice a day? This may be because of anything stuck in his nasal passage. Yes, it is right toddlers are curious and they want to eat everything they can lay their hands on. It may be something like beans or beads or any toy accessories. When such a thing gets stuck in the children’s nostrils it creates a bad odor. This may be an infection and if you feel your child has something like this you need to consult a doctor immediately.

The Infections and Diseases Caused Due to Bad Breath in Children

When a parent hears the name infection or disease, he or she will be worried. But there is nothing to worry about because there are just two infections that are curable as easy as brushing your teeth. The medical term halitosis includes sinus and tonsil infections.  Now let us know more about what these infections are.

Sinus infection:

Sinus is an issue which causes the fluids and tiny particles of food to collect in the throat and nasal passages making it the exact place for the accommodation of germs. This gathering of germs and bacteria will create bad breath that won’t go away by brushing or flossing. One can recognize sinus infection when he or she has a bad throat or burning nasal passages and postnasal drip.  When you see these symptoms, you must immediately take a doctor’s appointment.

Swollen tonsils:

Tonsils are the pads of flesh located at the sides of the back of the throat. A healthy tonsil is pink in color and spot-free. But when it is infected, it appears to be red, has white spots, a burning sensation, and a terrible smell. When the tonsils are infected, it means there is a bacteria accumulation in groups in the pits of the swollen tonsils. This comes with a bad sour smell which in the end creates bad breath in kids. If you want to check it at home, take a flashlight and look into your children’s mouths or else book an appointment with a doctor and he will prescribe you the right medicine.


Who has not heard about cancer? Cancer yes, there are many technologies now present-day to tackle cancer. There are many diseases such as stomach ache, diabetes, liver or kidney failure, and mouth cancer which can lead to bad breath. Not only a child but any young adult who is going through chemotherapy have bad breath because of fungal infections. One must take precautions and be aware of his dental health and make an appointment at the nearest doctor to look into such matters without any risk.

Preventing Bad Breath in Children

Children do not care much about or have that knowledge about their oral health. What can they do when chocolates and other foods are tasty and yummy? Ha-ha. It is parents who have to monitor their kids brushing two times a day and flossing their teeth at least once a day. And each time they brush their teeth parents must have their kids brush for at least two minutes. This way germs and bacteria in their mouth are flushed out. Flossing helps in removing the germs and bacteria in between the teeth to flush out and have better oral hygiene and prevention of bad breath. One must take at least two appointments with a dentist in a year as regular check-ups will not give any chance for oral hygiene risk and keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Dentists will have more experience and better information about dental health as they are specially trained to do so and also, they check your mouth with special equipment. Also, a reason for bad breath is periodontal, this is a gum disease that makes way for bad breath. This can also be recognized early and taken care of. One must make sure that he or she or kids brush their tongues too. This way you can easily flush out odor-causing bacteria. Parents must supervise their kids when they brush their teeth and make sure they do not swallow the toothpaste.


When you were a kid, your parents probably told you that you needed to wash your hands. They were probably also concerned if you didn’t show up for school or play with your friends because you didn’t feel well. They probably took your temperature, checked your throat, and wondered whether you were coming down with something. They weren’t being paranoid; they were being protective.

Children grow quickly, which can make keeping them clean a challenge. However, with just a few simple steps, you can help your child stay clean and healthy. Help them keep their hands clean. Make sure to thoroughly wash your child’s hands frequently, teaching them to wash their hands before and after playing with toys, eating, and using the bathroom.

We hope this article helped you learn about the importance of hygiene in kids. Thanks for reading!

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