Bad Breath in Kids: Causes and Home Remedies


Halitosis/Bad Breath in Children

Bad breath in kids is not uncommon and it can develop due to various reasons. This problem in toddlers/children is known as Halitosis and it mainly occurs due to dry throat.
Kids who usually don’t drink enough water throughout the day or don’t adhere to a healthy brushing regime often fall prey to Halitosis.

Major causes of Bad Breath in Kids

Breathing Through Mouth

Kids who breathe through mouth encourage the growth of bacteria. They suck a lot of things throughout the day which also make their mouth dry. Whenever the moth is dry, the flow of saliva will decrease and hence lack of Oxygen will cause bad breath. This foul smell also gets transferred to the objects that a kid puts in his mouth.

Unhealthy Brushing Habit

One of the major causes of bad breath in children is poor oral hygiene. Whenever you feed your child and don’t give him sips of water, the chances of bacterial growth increases. Cleaning child’s tongue and gums on a daily basis is necessary to avoid bad breath.

Blocked Nasal Passage

When tiny objects are stuck in the nasal passages of a child, he breathes through his mouth which encourages bad breath. Also, an allergy or cold blocks their nasal passages sometimes and he has to breathe through his mouth.


VSC stands for Volatile Sulphur Compounds. These are the compounds excreted when bacteria digest the mouth debris. These compounds comprise of various foul-smelling gases and until the mouth is not hydrated again, the bacteria will keep on growing and the bad breath will stay.

How to Cure Bad Breath in Kids At Home?

Taking action against child’s bad breath is very important before it leads to serious problems. However, you can rely on some home remedies before visiting your kid’s paediatrician.

1. Hydration

As we have discussed above, bad breath is mainly caused due to dry mouth. Giving small sips of water at specific intervals keeps your kid’s mouth hydrated. Drinking enough water is must to avoid bad breath and accumulation of bacteria due to dry mouth. You can set some targets for your child’s everyday water intake.

2. Foods to Feed

There are some foods that you can count on to eliminate your child’s bad breath. These foods include:
• Cucumber
• Yogurt
• Apples
• Oranges

3. Tongue Cleaning

Use soft baby tooth brush made for babies for cleaning tongue every day. It stops the bacteria to build up in child’s mouth. You can use soft rubber brush for this. If you have more than one kid, use separate brushes for each.

4. Brushing

Brushing child’s gums and teeth 2-3 times a day, with a specially designed soft children’s toothbrush every day is must. Try brushing in the morning, after lunch and before hitting the sack. Cleaning gums and tongue of the child regularly is very important to stop the accumulation of bacteria in mouth that cause bad breath and gum diseases. Always use non-abrasive toothpaste for babies. You can consult your child’s dentist if he needs flossing. Never try it without consulting a dentist as it may lead to bleeding of the gums.

Should Children Use Mouthwash?

During the development of a child’s teeth, a cosmetic condition called Fluorosis can occur. During this condition, the color and texture of child’s teeth change. Kids below six years should NOT use mouthwash. Many mouthwashes contain fluoride which encourages Fluorosis. Fluorosis is not permanent. White and brown spots may be visible on child’s teeth or his teeth may get bumpy. After 6 years, when your child is ready to use mouthwash, he must learn that it needs to be spit out like toothpaste. If he gulps down the liquid which contains chemicals, his health may get affected. You can test whether your child is ready to use mouthwash using water sips. Also, you must use very diluted mouthwash. Adults mouthwash is very strong for kids and not recommended.


About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.

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