5 Causes of Bad Breath in Kids

Posted on: 8 April 2021

Bad breath isn't a problem that people often associate with children, but some kids suffer from this embarrassing condition. Here are a few possible causes for your little one's stinky breath, along with tips for fixing it.

1. Inadequate Oral Hygiene Habits

When your child is young enough for you to brush and floss their teeth for them, it is easy to be sure that their mouth is getting a thorough clean every time. Once kids start brushing their own teeth, hygiene habits can slip. Brushing too infrequently or for too little time can lead to plaque building up on the teeth, leading to smelly breath.

Keep an eye on your child's brushing routine to ensure they do not get into bad habits. It might help to brush your teeth at the same time that they do to encourage them not to cut their brushing time short. You should also take your child to a family dentist for regular check-ups and professional cleanings.

2. Sinus Infections

Many people don't realise that sinus infections can change the way their breath smells. Children are highly susceptible to sinus infections, which often develop following a cold. If your child has symptoms of a sinus infection — blocked nasal passages, headaches and fatigue — take them to a doctor to get them checked over.

3. Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is another common childhood infection that can cause bad breath. Shine a light into your child's mouth to take a look at their tonsils. Healthy tonsils are pink and smooth, whereas ones that are swollen, red and have white spots are infected. A child with tonsillitis is also likely to have a very sore throat that makes eating and swallowing difficult. See your family doctor to get treatment for this illness.

4. Objects Stuck in Nose

Bad breath in kids does not always originate from the mouth. Many kids love to stick things up their nose. Sometimes objects can get stuck there and start to decay. Before you investigate medical causes of bad breath, it could be worth shining a light into your child's nose to see if you can see anything, asking your child whether there is anything stuck, or taking them to a doctor for investigation.

5. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a major cause of bad breath in both adults and kids. Thumb-sucking and pacifier use both make dry mouth more likely. Make sure your child always has water available to drink.

Dry mouth also increases the risk of tooth decay. Talk to your family dentist if you think your child is suffering from this condition.