What is halitosis (bad breath)?
As adults, bad breath is something we are all aware of — but did you know children can suffer from it too? We’re not talking about the bad breath that lingers a bit too long after a smelly lunch or a large cup of coffee. We’re referring to chronic bad breath, or halitosis, which remains for extended periods of time.
While halitosis can be a result of several problems, poor dental hygiene is typically the most common cause. As food particles breakdown, it’s natural for pieces to get stuck between teeth. If these pieces are not brushed, flossed, or rinsed away, they’ll produce an odor — not to mention cause plaque buildup.
As a parent, you’ll want to make sure your child follows a strict dental routine from an early age (brushing for two minutes, twice daily and flossing regularly) to prevent bad breath and other dental problems. But in addition to a healthy dental routine, here are some simple lifestyle changes to fight bad breath:
Choose a Toothpaste With Xylitol
Considered nature’s secret weapon, xylitol can be found in many of the fruits and vegetables we eat every day! Xylitol aids in preventing bacteria from sticking your child’s teeth and works to keep saliva at a more neutral pH level. Xylitol for dental use can be found in many children’s toothpaste, mouthwashes, and chewing gum.
Stick to Water
H20 should be your child’s go-to beverage! In fact, drinking more water throughout the day helps to remove particles stuck between their teeth, and boosts saliva production.
Bonus: staying hydrated also prevents dry mouth — another common cause of halitosis.
Brush the Tongue
It can be a battle to get your child to properly brush their teeth, often making brushing the tongue an afterthought. But did you know, clinical studies have shown that brushing the tongue significantly reduces and removes oral bacteria? So, in addition to brushing the teeth, you’ll want to make sure your children brush their tongue as well!
Watch Your Diet
Dishes packed with onion, garlic, and other spices tend to have a strong odor that lingers long after eating. Though delicious, these foods may actually contribute to your child’s bad breath. High-sugar diets can also be a culprit for halitosis. That’s because the bacteria that exist in your mouth feed on sugars, which can result in cavities and less than pleasant smells.
Visit Adelberg Montalvan Pediatric Dental
If you follow all of the above and have an A+ dental routine, but bad breath persists, there may be something else at hand. That’s where we come in! Be sure to schedule an appointment for your child with one of our board-certified pediatric dentists. With a proper cleaning and exam, we can find the root of your child’s bad breath problems and advise you on the proper next steps!