What Causes Bad Breath in Children?

When you think of baby breath you think of something delicate, airy and sweetly pleasant. But in reality, that’s not always what you get. 

Even healthy children sometimes experience bad breath. But if your son or daughter has persistent bad breath, it could point to improper dental hygiene. 

Common Causes of Bad Breath

The first and most obvious cause of bad breath in children, as in anyone, is unhealthy oral habits. You should teach your child from a very young age to always brush their teeth and tongue so that bacteria does not build up and bad odors are prevented.  

Let your child know that brushing the tongue is just as important as brushing the teeth. Supervise the brushing to make sure they are doing a good job.  Make sure children know from early on that regular care of the mouth is a normal part of each day.

Eating foods that have strong odors can also cause bad breath. If children are brushing regularly after every meal, this will help with that problem, regardless of what is consumed.

If your child is sick, there are two possible sources of bad breath — the medicine he or she is taking, or the infection/condition itself.

Check your child’s mouth regularly to make sure they don’t have any cavities, sores in the mouth or plaque build-up, all of which can contribute to bad breath.

Preventing Bad Breath 

It is the saddest thing to see a very young child with stained or rotting teeth. This is something that might affect them for a lifetime and could have been prevented with proper care. 

Don’t wait until your child has an obvious problem before acting. Take your children to the dentist now. Teach them that their dentist, just like Officer Friendly, is indeed their friend.  

You should encourage children to floss daily and take good care of their teeth so they can proudly brag when they visit their dentist and look forward to getting a new toothbrush.

The routine at Playtime Dental is designed to make your child’s visit fun and entertaining. If your child needs a dentist appointment, give our office a call today. We are currently accepting new patients!

Can Cough Syrup Cause Cavities?

It’s well established that both cough drops and cough syrup contain ingredients that can contribute to tooth decay and oral health issues. A child’s teeth are most susceptible to cough syrup, particularly if they use cough medicine and then go to bed without brushing their teeth.  The purpose of cough syrup is to coat the throat, but it also coats the teeth.

Sugar, Alcohol and Cavities

Cough syrup usually has a sweet taste because of the sugar in it, but it also often contains citric acid and alcohol. Alcohol can make the mouth dry.  Bacteria in the mouth feed on that sugar, and the acid forms around the teeth from the bacteria. Saliva naturally cleans the acid away, but because of the drying effect of alcohol coupled with the naturally diminished production of saliva during sleep, sufficient saliva isn’t produced to clean off the citric acid. That means the acid from the bacteria is left on the teeth for hours resulting in tooth decay.

Cavity Prevention During Cold and Flu Season

If you’re going to give your child cough syrup during cold and flu season, give it to them well before they go to bed and make sure that they brush and floss their teeth before their head hits the pillow. If you have to wait until just before the child goes to bed before taking the cough syrup, have them brush and floss to remove the sugar from the surface of their teeth. Pills or capsules are the best alternatives to liquid cough medicine, and they work just as well so long as your child can swallow pills or capsules.

Tooth decay can cause pain and destroy teeth that you and your kid’s dentist work so hard to maintain. Quality oral health for your kids helps keep your children healthy and reduces the costs of dental care. A little sugar, citric acid and alcohol in a dose of cough syrup might seem insignificant, but it can adversely affect their oral health over time, particularly before bedtime.  Follow our cough medication recommendations for the optimal dental care of your child.