What causes bad breath in kids? If you have ever gotten a whiff of your toddler's morning breath you may think there is something seriously wrong.
How can kids who don't smoke, drink coffee or eat garlic have such stinky breath?
And that flower called baby's breath? It's not called toddler's breath for a reason!
The truth is, once kids have all or most of their baby teeth they can have bad breath.
Bad breath in kids happens for the same reason it does in adults. Plaque forms on their teeth and tongue. If left undisturbed, the bacteria in plaque eventually produce hydrogen sulphide and that's what smells so bad.
If your toddler's breath is taking your breath away, try making these changes.
Brush twice daily with special attention to the gum line.
The tops of the teeth (the chewing surfaces) should be brushed too but that's not where you will find plaque growing on your child's teeth.
The chewing surfaces are largely self cleansing. When you chew your food, much of the plaque comes off.
The gum line is where you will find plaque if you don't brush it off. Plaque can grow and stay there for days on end if you don't help your child remove it. Or I should say, remove it for them. Brushing this area requires more fine motor skills than most kids have.
Be sure to brush your child's teeth at least once a day and if they insist let them do it the other time.
Once you have brushed the gum line on both the tongue side and the cheek side, brush their tongue.
I found that brushing my kids teeth was easier if they layed down on the floor with me straddling them...not sitting on them, just hovering over them.
In this position, I could see what I was doing and they were less wiggly.
We played a game where I would pretend to see all the food they ate that day.
Each item they ate had to be brushed away. Some of the "food" was on their tongue some was in the back etc... It took us at least 2 minutes to think of everything they ate during the day and then "find it".
I added some funny foods to keep them laughing. Many times they would think of a food that I forgot.
This little game helped me keep them involved yet distracted long enough to get the job done.
Floss with string floss or use a flosser made specifically for kids. Flossing is more difficult so start with brushing. Focus on very thoroughly brushing your toddler's teeth each night and ease into flossing.
Don't forget to encourage them to drink plenty of water. Dehydration doesn't smell good.
Learn more about how to keep your child's teeth healthy, here.