Halitosis in Kids – Do You Need to Worry?
Halitosis in kids may not be as bad as bad breath in adults but it’s still a concern for parents. As parents, we want our kids to be healthy. If we see a slight deviation from normalcy in our kids, we freak out.
While halitosis in kids is generally nothing to be worried about, there are instances where it might be a symptom of something bigger.
Here are some of the most common reasons for halitosis. This will help you know if you should worry about it or not?
Nothing to Worry About – Why Does My Child’s Breath Stink?
Here are the most common reasons why your kid has a bad breath. The reasons stated here are not alarming. They will help you though understand the source of the bad breath and how to remediate it.
Bacterial buildup in the mouth
Bacterial infection in the nose might come from an infection in the mouth or teeth. That’s where most bacterial activity occurs. It’s important to check our kids for signs of allergies, colds, or sinusitis.
Allergies, colds, or sinusitis can cause postnasal mucus drip which can be a reason why they developed bad breath. Postnasal drip is one of the main causes of bad breath in kids but it’s temporary. Once the cold or allergy passes then your kid’s breath will go back to normal.
As mentioned above colds, allergies and sinusitis are major causes of bad breath in kids. Colds and sinusitis can develop bad breath in kids and adults because of postnasal drip. It doesn’t need to be infected to cause some type of smell in the mouth.
I noticed a while ago that throat infections also make my kid’s breath stink. Turns out, that it’s because of the small stones that develop in the tonsils when you have a sore throat. These stones are bacterial filled sections in your tonsils that produce odor.
Throat infections are nothing to worry about as kids get them very often especially during the school year. But you might need to see a doctor when your kid is having a fever along with throat infection. In 2020, you definitely need to see a doctor when you have a fever and a sore throat.
Eating spicy food or food with garlic affects kids as much as adults. You will need to limit their intake of garlic-y food if they are going to be around people. While it’s not a big deal for toddlers as they’re too young to notice, it might be a big deal for you if other parents and teachers start to look down on your kid for having bad breath.
There are some medications that will make your toddler’s breath stink. One of the reasons when it comes to halitosis in kids is medication. It can be allergy medication, cough drops, or vitamins. Through my research, I found out that the smell is a normal metabolic response of the body.
You can check out what’s causing the bad breath by isolating the medicine. For example, try new vitamins brand and see if your kid’s breath still stink. Or try new cough drops like natural and vegan type brands.
When to Worry
Stuck foreign bodies in the nose
I had a school mate in elementary school. A pretty jolly and playful kid he was but one day he made the mistake of putting a button in his nose. While the imagery seems funny at first, the doctor needed to cut his left nostrils and stitch it back just to remove the foreign object. All that means is that kids will find a way to put something up their noses. They can’t keep their nose clean and we should check once in a while what in the world they’re trying to smell in secret. It can be clay, candy, their own fart, or a small lego brick.
As parents, we can’t always be omnipresent in our kid’s life. But we can check their breath once-in-a-while just to check if they ate something they shouldn’t. Like clay. It will make them poop for days and it doesn’t matter if the label says non-toxic.
Lego bricks are even more dangerous because they can cut off air circulation if they get stuck in their nose. It doesn’t matter if they’re three or nine years old, small lego bricks can be dangerous if used this way.
Check with your dentist immediately if you see swelling or bleeding in your kid’s gumline. Gingivitis causes the gum to recede and it can’t be reversed. Check with your dentist as soon as possible to spare your child any problems in the future.
Poor hygiene is not something to be worried about when it comes to kids. We say they’ll grow out of it or it’s a phase. Knowing that poor dental hygiene can cause gingivitis and irreversible gum recession, most will agree that it’s better to be firm with your kid’s dental care habits than have them face dental problems in the future. My son will probably whine about brushing after meals but we need to parent them and explain to them why they need to do this.
In line with this, we should always watch our kids when they brush. For example, let’s own up that it’s our fault if our kid has yellow teeth as early as now because they’ve been brushing too hard thus damaging the tooth enamel. The same goes if they develop gingivitis and other dental problems. Let’s spare three minutes in our day to guide them.
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