If you pick up your little angel and notice the presence of a foul smelling breath, it can instantly trigger off a chain of reactions and worries in you. Bad breath in children of preschool age is indeed a touchy topic and you would definitely like to help your child get rid of the same at the earliest. Halitosis or bad breath is common among children and adults of all ages. Bad breath or oral malodor is a simple oral health problem but it can lead to severe distress.
Bad breath is not accepted in social circles and even a preschooler may fall prey to various comments coming his way from the other children in the classroom. Bad breath can be corrected through the practice of oral health and hygiene and recommendations from a pediatric dentist. Simple solutions such as regular brushing of teeth and flossing in a fun manner can help the kid get back the freshness in his/her breath.
Main Cause of Halitosis or Bad breath
Bad breath is caused by the presence of a gram negative anaerobe, which is a bacterium that thrives and survives on the dental plaque and food debris present in the mouth cavity. These bacteria consume the sulfur rich substrates present in the mouth producing a foul smelling compound called hydrogen sulphide (H2S), in the process. Proper examination reveals that the foul smelling places in the mouth are present in the posterior region of the tongue, underneath the gum line and in the gaps between the teeth.
Common Causes of Bad Breath in Preschoolers
Tooth Decay and Accumulation of Food
As small children cannot convey any dental pain in the right manner, it is important to have regular checkups done to help diagnose any instance of tooth decay.
The accumulation of leftover food or mucus secretions on the inside lining of the mouth or the tongue, also leads to bad breath. Tooth decay and food debris are some of the most common causes of bad breath in preschoolers.
Irregular Brushing and Flossing Habits
If the preschooler forgets or neglects to brush his teeth regularly then he may develop a foul smelling breath. It is very important to educate the children at an early age, about the importance of brushing their teeth at least twice daily. Some dentists advise preschoolers to floss and rinse their mouths thoroughly, after every meal or in betweens.
It is necessary to clean the mouth of all traces of food products such as chocolates, chips, candies, cakes and other junk items containing high levels of carbohydrates, as they are the breeding grounds for bacteria, bad breath and other dental problems.
Dryness in the Mouth Cavity
The presence of stuffed and aggravated sinus conditions leads to dryness in the mouth. This is another cause of bad breath in the preschoolers. Small children are not aware of the importance of consuming enough liquids and water and they tend to neglect the same. Lack of hydration in the mouth creates dryness which leads to bad breath in young children.
Sometimes children tend to salivate lesser than normal, and the low levels of saliva create dryness in the mouth. This disallows the reduction of bacteria and the elimination and flushing out of small traces of food from the mouth. This leads to bad breath in preschoolers.
Post Nasal Drips
Sometimes the children are susceptible to allergies that lead to post nasal drip conditions. This causes bad breath too.
Intake of Excessive Proteins
If the diet of the preschooler includes excessive levels of proteins, it may lead to bad breath or bad odor.
It is necessary to consult a pediatric dietitian and take his advice on the levels of protein that has to maintained to provide the requisite nutritional requirements as well as eliminate the bad breath conditions.
If the preschooler has been on an antibiotic course for a prolonged period, then he/she may suffer from bad breath.
Natural Treatment to Fight Bad Breath
Proper Brushing and Flossing
Educating your child about the correct technique and manner of brushing his teeth regularly can help eradicate bad breath problems. It is important to clean the entire tongue thoroughly to avoid accumulation of any food particles or germs.
Give your child a soft thistle baby toothbrush as it works wonders and does not cause any damages to the soft tissues inside the mouth of the preschooler. Flossing two times a day in a regular way, helps clear off the debris that may have lodged in the spaces between the teeth.
Keeping the Mouth Free from Dryness
It is important to increase the natural production of saliva in the mouth of the child to prevent dryness and bad breath. To increase salivation you may offer the child some healthy items that he/she may enjoy sucking. It is necessary to make sure that the preschooler consumes enough liquids to keep his system totally hydrated and conditioned.
Eating Crunchy Fruits
If your child does not agree to your idea of cleaning his teeth after every meal and avoids using the toothbrush regularly, then encourage him to consume a crunchy fruit such as an apple after every meal.
This helps in the removal of tiny food items and debris from the mouth cavity. This method of removing bad breath can also be used if the toothbrush is not available nearby.
Pineapple Juice, Mint and Fresh Parsley
Preschoolers are generally fond of pineapples and it has been found that the juice of fresh pineapples helps in the removal of bad breath. Including a small glass of pineapple juice in the diet is effective in the treatment of Halitosis .You can also encourage the child to chew fresh mint or parsley leaves as they help in cleaning the palate and removing bad odor from the mouth cavity.
A Glass of Lemon Water and Non Alcohol Based Mouthwashes
A short term solution, lemon water may be effective in eliminating the bad breath in preschoolers. Some pediatric dentists prescribe mild mouthwashes to remove bad breath.
It is very important to note that all alcohol based mouthwashes and rinses should be strictly avoided, as they create mouth dryness which leads to an increased production of bacteria. Following proper oral hygiene and a nutritious diet plan can help your preschooler get rid of bad breath or Halitosis in an easy way.