Bad Breath in Children

Bad breath will affect everyone at some point in their life – even in childhood.

Bad breath is most common after eating certain foods such garlic and onion, it may appear after drinking of if you’re taking certain medications.

Bad breath in children.

If you’ve noticed that your child’s breath is not so pleasant, don’t worry, it’s probably nothing major. When it comes to bad breath in children, most of the time it’s down to poor oral hygiene.


It is vital that children have a brilliant oral care routine. Brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly are crucial to prevent development of tooth decay and need for seriously invasive treatment. After all, tooth decay is the number one reason for hospital admissions in children.


What causes bad breath in children?

Dry mouth. Saliva helps to cleanse the mouth. When your child’s mouth is not producing enough saliva dry mouth occurs. This contributes to a less than pleasant breath.

Mouth breathing. When a child breathes through his mouth, it prevents saliva from washing away bacteria. This will promote bad breath. It is most likely to occur when your child struggles to breathe through their nose (e.g. during a cold or while sleeping/snoring).

Bacteria on the tongue. It may seem like a weird habit to get into but brushing your tongue can eliminate bad breath. Most odour lives on the tongue. If it builds up, your breath won’t smell fresh, even after brushing teeth.

Infections in the mouth. Bad breath can also be a result of tooth decay, plaque build-up, mouth sores such as ulcers, or infections after oral surgery. A dentist will be able to give specialist advice on care and treatment for all of these problems.

Medications. Sometimes, the way medication breaks down in the body can lead to bad breath. This process releases chemicals that may result in bad breath.

Illness. Many illnesses can cause bad breath – tonsillitis, sinus infections, and allergies.


Dental products for children

When should you see the dentist?

Bad breath in children is common. Many of these causes of bad breath will go away on their own but sometimes they may need a little helping hand whether it be from a doctor or dentist.


Something to remember!

Remember that your child has access to free NHS dental care until age 18. It is vital they get necessary check-ups throughout their childhood to limit the chance of poor oral health during adult hood.

Click the link below and enter your location. Use the advanced search and select ‘child-friendly’ to narrow your search. You can also decide whether you would like to opt for private or NHS treatment.