A common complaint your dentist hears is that of bad breath, or halitosis. It can be especially concerning if your child is struggling with it, as their early dental health will shape the health of their teeth in the future. Use the following guide to learn common causes of pediatric halitosis and what you can do to help.
Why Your Child Struggles With Halitosis
1. Excess Plaque
Plaque is the thin film that forms over teeth, consisting of bacteria and their acidic wastes. Excess plaque can be caused by poor oral hygiene, especially since children aren’t always diligent and thorough when brushing. Some people also have an unusual plaque production for other causes. Your dentist can recommend products to combat plaque, educate your child on better brushing habits, or diagnose and treat other causes of excess plaque.
2. Food Particles
Improper oral hygiene can leave food particles and residues on your child’s teeth. As they decay and break down in the mouth, they create a foul odor. Your child may also complain of a bad taste. Watch them when they brush to ensure they’re being thorough. Generally, they should brush twice daily and floss once a day. They should also brush at a 45-degree angle to reach food particles under the gum line. Your family dentist can suggest different kid-friendly products for encouragement, such as water-flossing devices and gum-flavored toothpaste.
3. Dry Mouth
Saliva has anti-bacterial properties, so dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and odorous breath. Dry mouth can be caused by dehydration, especially in active children. Certain medications may also be a contributing factor, so always check the side effects on your child’s prescriptions. If not controlled, dry mouth can increase your child’s risk for tooth decay and disease. Keep them hydrated, use sugar-free gum or hard candy to stimulate saliva flow, and speak to your dentist about children’s products that can help.
4. Health Causes
Certain health conditions can cause bad breath, too. Gum disease refers to an infection of the gum tissue. It isn’t common in children, but if their oral care has been neglected for long enough, it may be a cause. Sinus infections, strep throat, and tonsillitis also contribute to bad breath because the infection will smell foul, spreading unpleasant odors to the mouth. If your child has a foreign object lodged in their tonsil or throat, infection and swelling will occur that also cause bad breath. This is why it’s so important to have your child’s halitosis checked by their dentist if it is chronic.
If your child needs an experienced dentist to treat their halitosis, there’s a friendly family dentist at Society Hill Dental in Lewisburg, LLC that would love to help. From education to cleanings to emergency dental services, our family dentist services are complete and gentle. Serving Williamsport and Lewisburg, PA, our compassionate dentists will provide a supportive, positive environment to help your child feel at ease while receiving care. We provide quality services you’ll love, too, such as teeth whitening and veneers. Learn about our pediatric care online, and call (570) 523-3207 to schedule your child’s cleaning or your teeth whitening today.