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Why does my child get bad breath?

Why does
my child get
bad breath?

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a condition that even the
healthiest children experience!

Please see below for common causes of halitosis in kids:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is one of the leading causes of bad breath in children. Bad breath can happen as a result of built-up bacteria and plaque, which has not been brushed away. This build-up irritates the gums and ultimately leads to bad breath. We recommend scheduling an appointment with a Kids Dental pediatric specialist for a dental cleaning and exam.


Your child’s tongue has grooves, which can accumulate bacteria and result in bad breath. Brushing their tongue is just as important as brushing their teeth! This will help to prevent bacteria from building up on their tongue, causing that a bad odour!

Dry Mouth

Your child’s saliva keeps their mouth clean by breaking down the bacteria in food. When there is less saliva than normal, this can contribute to bad breath. To avoid dry mouth, it is important to keep your child well hydrated!

Infections In Your Mouth

Bad breath can also be a result of an infection or wound in your child’s mouth. For example, when a tooth is extracted as a result of tooth decay, gum disease or mouth sores. If you suspect that this is the cause, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a Kids Dental pediatric specialist for a dental cleaning and exam.

A Foreign Object

Young children often place foreign items such as toys and food pieces in their nose. If your child’s nostrils are running and it is accompanied by bad breath – this can be a sign of a foreign object in their nose. In this scenario, seek medical assistance.


Specific foods can also be the cause of bad breath. Some examples include onions, garlic and spices. After these foods are digested, they enter your child’s bloodstream. From there, they are carried into your child’s lungs and affect their breath.

Other Mouth, Nose and Throat Conditions

Occasionally, small stones can form in the tonsils. These stones are covered in bacteria which we know, can produce odour. Also, infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat can create a postnasal drip. This drip is known to cause bad breath as well.

If your child is experiencing bad breath and would
like help identifying the issue, book a consultation with one of our pediatric specialists today!

Contact us at our Markham, Richmond Hill or Stouffville location now!

Richmond Hill (647)556 2158 | Markham (647) 496 0520 | Stouffville (647) 556 2214

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