Halitosis in Kids: Causes, Symptoms and Remedies


Scientific name for bad breath is Halitosis, which largely affects a number of people and especially children. Of course, having a bad breath can be a lot embarrassing not only for adults but as well as for kids. There can be a number of causes that may lead to bad breath. Some of these can be an upper respiratory infection or common cold, postnasal drip or allergies. In case, any of these issues is severe, the treatment may as well become a bit complicated. Teeth or gum disease can be other factors that may lead to bad breath in children. A large untreated cavity may lead to a strong smell in the mouth, thus causing bad breath. In this article, we will look at the causes, symptoms and treatment for Halitosis. Read below to find more:

Guide for Halitosis(Bad Breath) in Kids

Guide for Halitosis(Bad Breath) in Kids


There can be many causes for bad breath. A few of them are given below:

Poor dental hygiene

This is the first and foremost factor leading to bad breath, which is why it is vehemently important for anyone to brush and floss their teeth regularly. Eventually, plaque filled pockets will develop between your teeth and gums and this will further cause irritation to the gums. In addition to that, your tongue can also trap the odor producing bacteria and if not cleaned regularly, this may lead to bad smell.

Mouth infections

Oral surgery, including tooth removal, gum disease, mouth sores can also lead to bad breath.


Certain foods such as garlic, spices, onions can also lead to bad breath. These foods enter your bloodstream and are carried to your lungs, which affect the breath after they have been digested.


Dry mouth

Saliva helps to remove the particles causing bad odors. Thereby, when the production of saliva is decreased, dry mouth lead to bad breath. This can occur naturally, for instance during sleep.

Mouth, nose and throat infections

Odor producing bacteria cover the small stones that form in the tonsils. Thus, any infection in the nose, sinuses or throat can lead to postnasal drip and further cause bad breath.

Other causes

Conditions such as metabolic disorders or cancer can also lead to breath odor which may be a result of the chemicals produced by them.

Common symptoms

Bas breath is the most recognisable sign of halitosis in children, despite of constant brushing and cleaning of mouth. However, there can be other factors as well that may be contributing to the condition. Given below are a few of those:

  • Swollen gums
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Bleeding gums
  • Cavities
  • GERD


As stated that there can be different causes of bad breath, therefore the treatment for halitosis also depends on the cause:

  • If dry mouth is the factor contributing to bad breath, ask your child to drink lots of liquid in order to increase the amount of saliva in the mouth. Your doctor may also prescribe your child artificial saliva substitutes.
  •  In case of tooth decay or other such conditions, oral surgery will be required.
  •  Infections leading to halitosis will require the treatment using medications or surgery, depending on the nature of the infection.

Natural Remedies to treat bad breath in children

You can also try out a few home remedies to treat bad breath. These are listed below:


Apple cider vinegar

Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and let your child gargle with it. This will help to kill the bacteria growing in your child’s mouth.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits help to kill the bacteria in the mouth and also increase the amount of saliva produced.


Spices like cardamom and cloves can reduce bad breath. But, these must be used sparingly because they can a bit too strong tasting for your child.

Baking soda

Make your child brush his/her teeth with baking soda, which will help to change the pH level of the mouth and also kill the bacteria causing bad breath.

Tips to follow

Poor oral hygiene is the major factor leading to bad breath in most of the cases for children. Thereby, it is vital for your child to know and learn how to take care of his teeth in a better way.

  •  Ask your child to brush his/her teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
  • Since most of the bacteria leading to bad breath stay on the tongue, therefore ask your child clean the tongue properly
  • Take your child for regular dental check-ups.
  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of water throughout the day and stays hydrated.
  • Get a mouthwash for your child as recommended by the dentist.
  • Most importantly, follow a healthy and balanced diet, that too with reduced sugar intake.

It is vital for your child to know the importance of oral hygiene, especially when he is growing. For this, you have to make sure he/she follows the routines of maintaining oral health. In this case, not only the dentist, but you also have a crucial role to teach your child about the ways to keep his/her mouth clean.

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!