Why Does My Child's Breath Smell Bad?

Why Does My Child's Breath Smell Bad?

If you’ve recently gone to hug your child and noticed their breath smells bad, that doesn’t always mean something’s wrong.


But if it persists and doesn’t go away even after you brush the child’s teeth, you may need to bring them to see a pediatric dentist.


Here are a few causes of bad breath in children:


Improper Oral Hygiene


Daily brushing and flossing prevent cavities and gum disease and keep the child’s breath in top condition.


If your child is skipping their routines or having difficulties cleaning their mouth properly, then this may be the reason why their breath smells bad.




Some foods can also cause bad breath for a few hours. The biggest culprits in this are onions and garlic.


The child’s breath can still have a bad odor even if you brush their teeth after they eat because their stomach is breaking down the foods, which are entering the bloodstream and may cause the breath to smell bad for a few hours.


Oral Health Issues


Oral health troubles like gum disease or a tooth infection may also cause a foul smell. There are usually other symptoms as well, such as a hole in the tooth, pain, or gum bleeding.


Tongue Coating


If the child’s tongue isn’t also brushed, bacteria can deposit over time and coat it. As a result, their breath can smell bad even after they brush their teeth.


Luckily, gently scrubbing the tongue to remove the coating usually fixes the problem.


Dry Mouth


Saliva plays a huge role in everyone’s oral health, as it can flush away food particles and bacteria. If the child’s mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, this can create a foul smell.


The same thing happens first thing in the morning. Morning breath happens because the body naturally produces less saliva, allowing bacteria to multiply. But morning breath goes away after brushing the teeth.


The most common cause of dry mouth is breathing through the mouth, either because of a congested nose or an obstructed airway. If it persists, your child should see a doctor.


Mouth, Nose, Throat, or Ear Infections


Lastly, if your child has an infection, the bacteria found near the oral cavity may actually cause bad breath.


The smell will go away once the infection is gone, but note that if the child is prescribed antibiotics, the medication may also affect their breath temporarily.


How Chula Vista Pediatric Dentistry Can Help


If your child has persistent bad breath and you can’t determine the exact cause, don’t worry. Dr. Rene is here to help the little ones out and get to the bottom of things.


Request an appointment at Chula Vista Pediatric Dentistry online and stop by with your child to learn more.


If you want to learn more about our services, call our office at (619) 482-1210 today!

Schedule Their Appointment

Make Us Your Child’s New Dental Home

Request an Appointment