Bad Breath? Who….Me?

Halitosis or “bad breath” is a common concern that we often get from our parents here at McKinney Pediatric Dentistry. Most parents want to know what causes it and how to get rid of the foul smell coming from their child’s mouth.

McKinney Pediatric Dentistry
McKinney Pediatric Dentistry

The most common cause of halitosis in pediatrics is lack of good oral hygiene and plaque buildup on the teeth. The bacteria that cause halitosis live on the plaque inside the child’s mouth as well as on any oral debris that might be present.

There are several other causes as well such as certain foods we eat, dry mouth, and illnesses such as infections or congestion in the sinus and nasal cavities. Certain foods such as garlic or onions can cause temporary halitosis but should go away once the food is absorbed into the blood stream. Dry mouth can be caused from mouth breathing, sucking or chewing on blankets/pillows, thumb sucking, and certain medications. A few remedies we would recommend here at McKinney Pediatric Dentistry for dry mouth would include chewing a piece of sugar-free gum to enhance salivary production and most importantly to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If the child has a habit such as thumb sucking, we encourage the parents at each dental visit to eliminate the habit as soon as possible which will then in return diminish the halitosis associated with it. Illness related halitosis such as infections or congestion in the sinus and nasal cavities causing post nasal drip and mouth breathing can be hard to get rid of! Mouth rinses can be helpful such as Listerine Zero, but may only help for a few hours. Avoid sucking on mints or any other mint flavored candies as these tend to have lots of sugar in them. Drinking plenty of water or simply swishing water around in the mouth and spitting it out can be helpful for your child in this situation as well.


Our staff at McKinney Pediatric Dentistry would like to address and help assist you with this concern as much as possible. Here are a few tips on how to help your child fight bad breath naturally.

  • Make after meal brushing a habit
  • Encourage flossing once a day to remove any debris that might be stuck in between the teeth
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day to limit the amount of bacteria present in the mouth
  • Encourage your child to brush their entire tongue every time they brush their teeth

McKinney Pediatric Dentistry encourages all children at each dental visit to keep up with their brushing and flossing in order to be breathing easy and odor free!

toddler brushing