By Dr. Tara Kompare, Pharm.D.
The Medicine Mom
dont know about you, but I always look forward to starting
my mornings with snuggle sessions from my girls. Fresh from a good
nights sleep, my two and five-year-old are usually eager to nestle
into my arms and share lots of kisses. But what happens when those
kisses arent as sweet as you hoped? What if your childs
breath knocks your socks off, in a bad kind of way?
it or not, children can also suffer from halitosis, or bad breath.
Some of the most popular causes include:
Dental Health: The tongue, teeth, and gums all need lots of TLC
in order to prevent the build up of odor-producing bacteria. If
our kids are not brushing and flossing properly, bad breath is sure
Crypts: Our tonsils often contain cryptsa fancy word for pits
that can trap food particles causing odor. It is also important
to note that mouth breathing, which is often caused by enlarged
tonsils, can lead to halitosis as well.
Bodies: Until this past Halloween, I was proud of the fact that
my children had never stuffed anything up their nose. Well, my long
record came to a screeching halt with a bag of mini M&Ms
and a very daring two-year-old. If you arent fortunate enough
to catch your kids in the act of shoving something into their nostrils,
you may find out afterwards from the rotten smell. In order to tell
if their nose is to blame, just take a whiff and look for any unusual
Drip and Infection: Children with allergies and/or a sinus infection
often develop postnasal drainage which collects in the back of the
throat creating a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.
There are certain medications that can cause the development of
an oral fungal infection called thrush. Inhaled steroids are one
of the leading offenders but brushing and rinsing immediately after
use can help minimize this unwanted side effect. Symptoms of thrush
include bad breath and white spots on the tongue and cheeks.
and Treatment Tips:
any underlying medical conditions: If you suspect your child has
allergies or an infection, it is important to bring your child to
their doctor for further evaluation. With the proper diagnosis and
medication, bad breath can be easily treated and eliminated.
your children to brush and floss regularly: The dental products
available today are amazing. I remember when I was a kid and dreamt
about toothpaste that was flavored like bubble gum or watermelon
and now that dream is a reality. If only I were a kid today
out your childs throat: Ask your child to open up and say
Aahh while you check out their tonsils for any trapped
food particles and examine their tongue for any white spots.
them while they eat: If you have a toddler or preschooler at home,
I am sure you know how quick and sneaky they can be. Try to not
leave them alone in a room to eat since the odds are pretty high
that they will experiment sticking things up and into anything with
a hole in it.
all know someone who has chronic bad breath and, most likely, you
try to avoid getting too close to him or her. When it comes to our
kids, however, we must always remain close so keeping their breath
fresh and odor-free is a must!
(Parent Sanity Saver): To help ensure that your kids are brushing
long enough, you may want to try using a Twooth Timer.
This tooth-shaped two-minute timer can be found at www.twoothtimer.com
and may help save you the cost of some unnecessary dental visits!
author is a doctor of pharmacy and mother of two amazing little
girls. You can visit her website at www.themedicinemom.com
or e-mail her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
presented on this site is intended solely as a general educational
aid, and is neither medical nor healthcare advice for any individual
problem, nor a substitute for medical or other professional advice
and services from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your
unique circumstances. Always seek the advice of your physician or
other qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical condition
and before starting any new treatment.