Are You Ashamed Of
Bad Breath In Toddlers?

Child brushing teeth

Bad breath in toddlers can have some unique causes. It may also indicate a serious problem. It may also be a sign of other illnesses especially colds. Adults are not the only ones who can have bad breath. Believe it or not infants and toddlers can have it as well.

There have been times that my toddler experienced bad breath. I never realized that it can be a signal for something else. Toddlers even have a distinct smell on their breath when they have strep throat? Did you know that? I never knew this either until my son got it. I never paid attention to the bad breath smell. This is why I felt that it was important to discuss the topic.

"Bad breath in toddlers can indicate that something else is going on"

The Most Common cause of Bad Breath in Toddlers


Postnasal Drip

Toddlers hang around with other kids and just manage to get colds more often. They also can suffer from sinus infections and allergies. Postnasal drip provides a great food source for odor causing bacteria. In combination with that, children who have breathing problems, whether it's from allergies, stuffy noses, enlarged adenoids, or infected sinuses, often breath through their mouths. This dries out their mouths, creating even better conditions for halitosis-causing anaerobic bacteria.


Other Causes of Bad Breath in Toddlers can be:

  • Dehydration
  • Mouth breathing (often due to a cold or allergies)
  • Improper teeth brushing
  • Infrequent snacking and drinking throughout the day
  • Increased bacterial activity in the mouth at night
  • Objects the toddler placed inside their noses


Solutions you can try:

  • Ensure that your toddler gets plenty of fluids throughout the day. Less fluids mean less saliva, and less saliva means a dryer mouth, which is a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes bad breath. In addition, offering frequent drinks and snacks throughout the day provide opportunities for the odor-causing bacteria to be moved around the mouth and flushed away.
  • Promptly treat cold and allergy symptoms and suction your child's nose with saline and a nasal aspirator, especially at night. This will help reduce the post-nasal drip and prevent mouth breathing, both of which can cause bad breath.
  • Teach your child to brush properly and assist him with brushing frequently. Young children need your help with this until they are around seven years old, but while you're helping, make sure they are learning the importance of brushing the tongue and sides of the mouth as well as flossing. There are new dental floss type things with handles that are making this task even easier for young children and parents. My son uses these, they are wonderful and they are inexpensive.
  • You may want to think about changing your child's diet in order to remove toxins from the body. Having your baby or toddler drink water and all-natural juices several times a day will help to cleanse the body and freshen the breath. Talk to your pediatrician about this solution before trying.


It is important that you pay particular attention to the actual scent of your child's breath.

Some "smells" and what they may indicate in bad breath in toddlers:

  • A baked bread smell can be an indication of typhoid fever
  • A celery smell it could be a sign of Aasthouse urine disease
  • A Garlicky breath could indicate arsenic or thallium poisoning
  • A vinegar smell could indicate diabetes or a sugar problem
  • A sweet or fruity smell may also indicate diabetes.

If you smell any of these odors then you need to contact your pediatrician immediately.


So there can be more to bad breath in toddlers than we think. It can be an indicator that something else is going on. So please stay informed and pay attention to these odors and have them checked out. It really is important to toddler health.

* I am not a Doctor or Licensed Professional in the field of toddler breath. I am a stay at home Mom passing on tips, advice and information that are based on my opinions. Always remember to consult your pediatrician with serious questions concerning your child and their ailments. *

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