Bad Breath in Children – Causes and Management

Bad Breath in Children – Causes and Management

Every parents knows the importance to groom their kid hygienically. Bad breath may lead your child to face social awkwardness and could be a symptom to other disease. Sometimes, it gets very difficult for a parent to know about it. Halitosis, biological term for bad breath is persistent bad breath because of some factor. It is an odour which is unpleasing.

The major causes include poor eating habits, insufficient dental hygiene and medical conditions. A kid with bad breath may get self-conscious and hence should learn to take care of teeth in the right way.

Causes of Bad Breath - Here are the common causes which lead to bad breath in kids -

Improper oral hygiene: Bad breath may occur if your kid isn’t brushing or flossing properly and at the dedicated hours. If plaque isn’t brushed efficiently, it may infect gums. The tongue may lead to bacterial growth which causes bad breath.

  1. Dry mouth: If the saliva produced in the mouth is less, then it is condition called xerostomia which leads to bad breath. Saliva is important to keep your teeth, mouth and tongue clean.
  2. Breathing via mouth: A lot of children have the habit of breathing from mouth. It makes their mouth dry.
  3. Foreign items: it may be a surprise, but foreign items like food remains may build up bacteria and plaque and cause bad breath.
  4. Infection: If your child has cavities, gingivitis or plaque build-up, ulcers or mouth sores, then he/ she may suffer from bad breath.
  5. Medication: when some medicines break down, the released chemicals may lead to bad breath.

Medication condition: if your child is suffering from some allergy, tonsillitis, sinus infection, then he may suffer from bad breath. Respiratory problems like asthma or enhanced adenoids may also develop bad breath.


The correct diagnosis of bad breath in kids comprises of physical examination of mouth and neck. If sulphide gases are detected in breath via halimeter, then you may be suffering from bad breath.

Medical treatment

As the cause of bad breath are so many, the treatment also varies depending on the cause

  1. If bad breath has occurred due to dry mouth, your kid needs to drink a lot of water and other liquids without sugar content to enhance saliva production in the mouth.
  2. Bad breath can be first treated with medication and then surgery depending on the nature and extent of the problem.
  3. Surgery may be needed if it is because of any abscess or tooth decay.

Some home remedies for the treatment of bad breath in kids

You have a number of home remedies to get rid of bad breath your kid is suffering from:

  1. Parsley: The antiseptic quality of parsley works as a natural mouth freshener. It also eases digestion process which avoids bad breath. Make sure your child chews some parsley leaves after every meal.
  2. Fennel: Give some fennel to your child time to time to remove bad breath.
  3. Healthy diet: cut down refined sugar and processed food from your child’s diet. Also avoid candies, chocolates and carbonated drinks.
  4. Apple cider vinegar: mix some apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and make your child gargle. It will kill the thriving bacteria.
  5. Citrus fruit: Citrus fruits kill the flourishing bacteria in the mouth. It also helps in the production of saliva. All you need to do is make your kid eat some oranges.
  6. Cloves and cardamom: these spices are famous to kill bad breath. However, you should use them rarely as they may taste too strong to your child.

 Tips to prevent bad breath in your kid

  1. Make sure your child brushes twice a day. It is important to make him brush for at least 2 minutes every time. He should also rinse his mouth after finishing his meals.
  2. You can get a dentist recommended mouthwash for the kid. Make sure it is recommended for children.
  3. Make your kid floss nicely after every meal.
  4. Teach your kid how to clean his tongue nicely so that no bacteria persist on the tongue leading to bad breath.
  5. Keep your child hydrated by making him drink plenty of water.
  6. Give your child a nutritious and balanced meal every time with lower sugary intake.
  7. Go for braces, dental check-ups and implants if necessary and make sure the teeth are properly cleaned periodically.
  8. Every six months book an appointment with your dentist.

Kids are a little fussy when it comes to taking care of their teeth. Speak to them about the importance of oral hygiene.