Just like adults, children experience bad breath ranging from mild to severe. For children, there are several causes that can contribute to bad breath or halitosis but thankfully, all are treatable with the right diagnosis and information. In most cases, treating bad breath in children can be achieved at home with the right oral care essentials and a great oral care routine. Where infection or oral health issues are the cause of bad breath in children, professional intervention may be required from a dentist. But, with the right treatment, even severe bad breath in children can be cured. 

Causes Of Children's Bad Breath

Poor Oral Hygiene

Good oral health is so important for children, not only when it comes to preventing bad breath, but for maintaining their overall health, too. One of the most common causes of bad breath in children is poor oral hygiene. This can include a lack of brushing and flossing daily. Though it can be difficult to ensure children brush twice a day, both morning and evening, for 2 minutes each time, it is essential that they are encouraged to do so to prevent plaque build up and tooth decay, both of which are leading causes of bad breath in children. It is also very important that children floss their teeth once a day to ensure overall tooth and gum health and to prevent bad breath. When good oral hygiene is not maintained in children, the bacteria that forms on the teeth, gums and mouth release a gas when they come into contact with food. This gas smells unpleasant and is a sign that halitosis is occurring. 

Certain Foods & Drinks

One of the main causes of temporary halitosis in children is the food and drink they are consuming. Foods like garlic and onion can cause bad breath and should be avoided. It is also important to limit sugar intake in children’s diets, as it can lead to tooth decay which in turn can cause bad breath and other oral health issues. 


Bad breath in children can often be caused by dehydration. Using a pacifier or thumb-sucking can mean there is less saliva in the mouth and this can cause bad breath. Make sure children are hydrated with tap water, which contains Fluoride, to stop bad breath. 

Health Issues

If good oral hygiene is being maintained and your child is attending regular dental check ups, at least every 6 months, bad breath may be a sign of another health issue. Sinus infections and swollen tonsils can both cause bad breath in children, so if bad breath persists always seek advice from a medical practitioner. 


Children's Bad Breath Treatment

Brushing and Flossing Daily 

One of the easiest and most effective ways of treating bad breath in children is by maintaining good oral care through regular brushing and flossing. Brushing teeth and gums twice a day with a bamboo toothbrush, which is naturally antibacterial and suitable for sensitive teeth and gums, will help clean teeth and gums properly. Flossing daily is also an important part of every child’s oral care routine to ensure bad breath is prevented and overall oral health is maintained. 

Child Friendly Toothpaste 

Children should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that is clean, clinically proven and uses active ingredients to protect teeth and gums and treat bad breath. Look to use a toothpaste that has been created especially for children to ensure the best oral health results. Never use a toothpaste that doesn’t contain Fluoride, as this is an essential active ingredient that will support children’s tooth development and help to prevent decay and bad breath. 


Regular Dental Check-Ups

It is important that your child sees a dentist every 6 months to ensure overall tooth, gum and mouth health is being maintained. While good oral care at home is vital, dentists will be able to access and treat any oral health issues experienced by children and can treat bad breath professionally. 

Oral Care Education

At Spotlight, we understand that every mouth is individual. Children’s oral health is different to adults, so it is important to ensure they are looking after their oral health and treating their oral care concerns specifically. Our clean, clinically proven, active ingredient infused Toothpaste for Children has been created specifically to treat their oral care needs. 

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