Babies and toddlers have an infamous "new baby" smell that parents swoon over - their breath even smells sweet most of the time! But sometimes babies and toddlers may experience bad breath, but it doesn't mean they are unhealthy. Just like with adults, there are many reasons why small children will experience halitosis, and it often stems from the same root causes. If you notice your baby's breath is unusually foul, here are a few things that may be causing the problem:
A dry mouth is the most easily curable cause for bad breath, and it is a very common reason why people experience halitosis. Baby bad breath is also caused by dry mouth. When children are young, it is the perfect time to teach them oral health care practices that they will continue with as they get older. It may seem simple, but encouraging them to drink plenty of water can quickly do the trick. When a child's mouth is dried out, the bacteria from food, sucking on his or her thumb or chewing on toys, sticks around. Once children get older, make sure that they are keeping up with drinking plenty of water, and parents should try to set an example by drinking plenty of H2O in front of their young children.
As much as we try to avoid it, children are not the cleanliest. From sucking on their thumb to putting objects in their mouth that have fallen on the ground, children just don't have limits - but can you really blame them? Bad breath in toddlers can easily be caused by their toys, because children have a constant desire to put toys in their mouth. To prevent bacteria from accumulating on these items, parents should make sure to clean them every day, or more often if your toddler has particularly slippery fingers. Parents can safely clean toys with a baby wipe regularly, and use vinegar or baking soda to deeply clean them on a regular basis.
A common cold will cause virtually anyone to experience bad breath, and children are even more prone to this symptom - especially children who are suffering from sickness such as post nasal drip, or when the mucus becomes thick and backed up. Inflamed or infected tonsils will cause bad breath. One of the most obvious cases of this is during strep throat. Children who suffer from this illness will emit a distinct smelly breath, but it will fade after antibiotic treatment.
To help speed up the process, parents should have children gargle with a salt water solution. It will dislodge the bacteria that are lingering in the back of the mouth, while soothing their sore throat. If children are old enough, they can swish around an alcohol free mouthwash. Using a mouthwash free of alcohol will not dry out a child's mouth, and parents can rest assured their children will not swallow a solution that could be harmful to their health.
Tooth decay or cavities
Children's teeth may have cavities, tartar buildup or they may even be decaying. Although this sounds very awful, it's more common in children than a lot of people think because children are often not as thorough while cleaning their teeth. Parents should make sure to instill good oral health practices so they know how to properly take care of their adult teeth when they come in. Some studies have shown that children who experience tooth decay are more likely to suffer from it as adults. However, others believe that more advanced screening processes have skewed results to prove this.