Everyone’s breath smells unpleasant from time to time, particularly early in the morning or after eating foods such as onions and garlic. If you notice that your child’s breath smells bad throughout the day, you may need to take a few steps to improve his oral hygiene. In some cases, your child will need treatment for an underlying condition to improve his halitosis, or bad breath.
Supervise Teeth Brushing
One of the more common causes of bad breath is poor dental hygiene, according to Kids Health. If your child has started to brush his teeth on his own and you notice that his breath odor has grown worse, you may need to watch him brush his teeth to make sure he is using the proper technique and brushing for a long enough period of time. Establish a tooth-brushing routine, where you and your child brush together. Set a timer for 2 or 3 minutes to make sure your child brushes long enough. For best results, your child should brush his teeth at least twice a day. He should also brush his tongue to remove bacteria and improve his breath.
Add flossing to your child’s oral hygiene routine if he doesn’t do it already. Food that gets stuck in the teeth begins to breakdown and produce a foul odor. Your child should floss once a day to remove any food and plaque stuck between the teeth. Show your child how to floss correctly. Wrap an 18-inch piece of floss around your middle fingers. Insert a small section of the floss between your teeth and gently rub back and forth. Stress the importance to your child of flossing between every tooth to get rid of as much food and plaque as possible.
Certain foods cause bad breath that won’t go away even after your child brushes and flosses. Onions, garlic and pungent spices contain oils that the body absorbs, according to MayoClinic.com. The smell from the oil travels into the lungs, so that your child produces an unpleasant smell whenever he exhales. Eliminating problematic foods from the diet should cure the bad breath.
Moistening the Mouth
Children who have a dry mouth are likely to have bad breath, as saliva helps clear away odor-producing particles, according to MayoClinic.com. Make sure your child drinks plenty of water daily to keep the mouth moist. Avoid sugary juice and sodas, which can dry out the mouth. If an infection such as sinusitis causes the bad breath, rinse your child’s nose with saline and put a humidifier in his room at night to drain the nasal passages.
If your child’s bad breath persists after you’ve investigated the issues noted above, take him to a physician for a checkup. A full examination can rule out any possible underlying physical causes of bad breath.