Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is one of the most common oral issues dentists see in children and teenagers. Even if your youngsters are brushing their teeth twice a day, it might not be enough to stop bad breath from developing. To keep their oral health and breath as fresh as possible, it’s important to know what causes halitosis, when to see a pediatric dentist, and what steps you can take as a parent to prevent smelly breath.
What Causes Bad Breath?
The most common causes of bad breath are poor oral hygiene and food residue, especially aromatic foods like garlic and onions. Less-common origins of bad breath include dry mouth, tooth decay, gum disease, and even diseases and illnesses such as respiratory infections, sinusitis, or blocked noses.
When Should You See a Dentist?
Smelly breath is normal in the morning when children and teenagers first wake up, even if they brushed their teeth the night before. In these cases, a morning brush and floss will help dispel the odor. You should take them to see a dentist if the odor lingers after brushing, their teeth are extra sensitive, or the teeth or gums appear discolored or inflamed.
How Can You Prevent Bad Breath?
Dentists suggest brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day to remove plaque and food residue that can cause bad breath and tooth decay. Parents can also reduce oral odors in children by limiting sugary foods and swapping out caffeinated drinks for fresh water. Children should also have an oral exam and teeth cleaning twice a year to detect any issues that could contribute to halitosis.
Parents who have children with lingering bad breath or tooth decay should schedule a dentist appointment with the Dental Clinic of Onalaska. Dr. Mike Olsen and his team have been serving the La Crosse County, WI, community for 26 years and believe in using a family-friendly approach to build better oral health. Call (608) 783-3341 to schedule an oral exam, or visit their website for more information on establishing good oral health habits.