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Why does my 5 yrs old’s breath smell so bad?

By December 28, 2015December 3rd, 2018Oral Health, Pediatric Dentist

My 5 yr old daughter has horrible breath. It even takes my breath away sometimes when I smell it. It’s not an oral hygiene thing. At least I don’t think it is. I floss and brush her teeth morning and night. I also make a little baking soda mouthwash for her to gargle with every day but it doesn’t help. When I take her to the dentist, even she talks about brushing out the ‘bad breath monsters’. Really I have done all that I know to do. I asked the pediatric dentist and she keeps saying that I should brush and floss my daughter’s teeth. I do that already. This is really bothering me and I know that eventually my daughter will start being teased because the smell of her breath is really horrible. I am wondering what else I can do or what can be causing the problem. thank you – Oksana

Oksana – You can start by having a conversation with your daughter’s dentist. Let the dentist know your daily routine for your daughter’s oral hygiene. Then ask the dentist for an exam to help determine what’s causing the bad breath. Also ask if the dentist has any ideas for what is causing the problem. If you don’t get a satisfactory response, you may need to choose a new dentist.

Also, ask your family doctor or pediatrician about the problem. At times, there are medical factors that can cause bad breath in children. We are by no means diagnosing your daughter’s case, but listed below are some causes of bad breath in children.

  • A medical condition – Allergies, sinus issues, tonsillitis, or other medical conditions can cause bad breath.
  • Dry mouth – Certain medications can cause dry mouth, and so can a lack of saliva production. Ensure your child drinks plenty of water to keep his or her mouth moist.
  • Oral infection – Cavities or a mouth sore can cause bad odor.
  • Food – Certain foods have odors that linger, including garlic and onions.
  • Bacteria on the tongue – It’s important to gently brush the tongue, too. A buildup of bacteria on the tongue will cause a foul odor. A tongue scraper can be carefully used.
  • Breathing through the mouth – This will quickly dry out the mouth and cause odor. If your child breathes through his or her mouth due to sinus or allergy issues, addressing the issue can make breathing with the mouth closed much easier. Give your child plenty of water to drink.

The above causes are possibilities. An examination from your child’s pediatric dentist and medical doctor will help identify the cause, as well as the best treatment.


This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

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