What Causes Bad Breath Toddlers?

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What Causes Bad Breath in Toddlers?

It is quite common for people to say they know of someone who has a problem with bad breath, but it wasn't until recently that I discovered that some toddlers also experience the same problem.

So what causes bad breath in toddlers?

Oral hygiene

When a toddler's teeth are not brushed properly and regularly this may contribute to the toddler having bad breath. It is understandable that some toddlers do not like the idea of having their teeth brushed and to be honest they do not understand the concept at that age.

It is however important to maintain a healthy regime for your toddler's teeth in order to prevent decay, bad breath and other associated problems related to neglecting the cleaning of one's teeth.

Cleaning of your toddler's teeth should be done at least twice a day and as consistently as possible in order to get rid of the bad breath or event to prevent it if your toddler does not have the problem.

Unlike adults, who have the choice of getting a mouthwash, toddlers are too young to use mouthwash and therefore this is why the emphasis is on ensuring your toddler's teeth are looked after the most natural way as possible.

Finger sucking / Thumb Sucking

Some toddlers with finger sucking routines are prone to have bad breath. One of the reasons for this is because they leave their fingers in their mouth for too long and also they tend to breathe through their mouth and not their nose.

A finger sucking toddler would also tend to use the same finger to pick up things across the house and in the process transfer dirty unhygienic stuff into their mouth.

Parents of toddler who sucks their fingers should try as much as possible to ensure that their toddlers hands are cleaned every now and again.

Pacifiers/Comfort Cloths

Toddlers that use pacifiers and cloths for comfort are also susceptible to having bad breath. As with finger sucking toddlers, the solution here is to ensure that the pacifier/dummy is kept clean all the time. As with the cloth/blanket - it also essential to make sure it is washed regularly.

Colds and Sinus Infection

These are more examples of what causes bad breath in toddlers. Due to having a cold, the toddler may find it difficult to breathe through the nose and as a result breathes through the mouth and because of this the saliva quickly runs dry in the mouth and this leads to bad breath.


Some toddlers experience reflux - a situation whereby they bring up the food they have eaten. This has been known to contribute to bad breath.

Inflamed/enlarged Tonsils

Some toddlers who experience the above have been found to have pieces of food lodged in corners of the tonsil thereby ultimately leading to bad breath due to the amount of time that food has stayed lodged in the tonsils.


For some toddlers, it may just be a case that they have thrush on their mouth/tongue that has caused the bad breath. For parents who prefer natural solutions, they could gently brush their toddler's tongue on a consistent basis and over time this should sort out the problem. Alternatively, seeking advice from your doctor could help and most likely a prescription would be given to get rid of the thrush.

All in all, it is very important to maintain a healthy regime for your toddler in respect of their teeth. Also making sure your toddler makes the annual or bi-annual visits to the dentist would also help in ensuring that your toddler has the best care for their teeth.

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