25 answers

Bad Breath in Son - Murfreesboro,TN

My 5 year old has horrible breath. It smells like a dead animal! It's disgusting. Is this just a product of not brushing his teeth well enough, or something else? I worked in the evenings for over a year and his father let him brush his teeth by himself (I was doing it then letting him go after me) and now he gets upset if I brush them for him. Any ideas?

What can I do next?

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Google "Tonsil Stones." Very disgusting, but harmless. Once they come out, the breath clears right up.

Probably better ask his Dr. or dentist. It could be that he's not drinking enough liquids, that there's some kind of infection or bacteria in his system, or something between some of his teeth. Hard to tell...

I'm going to say that's it poor dental hygiene. My son (age 9) has horrible breath so bad that I had to start going behind him to brush his teeth. Then I had to make him start flossing at least every other day (I know he should do it everyday but small steps at a time). I still noticed a bad odor so I changed his toothpaste from the bubblegum flavored children's toothpaste to the adult flavored then I got him the children's listerine (Agent Blue) and I have him swish with that and brush all the blue away too so he can see what he misses. It has helped some. I also notice that when my son is getting sick, has a cold, or is constipated his breath is worse.

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What about seeing a dentist? Dentists generally start seeing children at about 3 years of age. Two things can happen: 1.) He is checked for any problems in the mouth and 2.) If he doesn't want to go back to the dentist, with the big needles, then he needs to start brushing his teeth.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Kristin,

If his teeth are being brushed appropriately then this is definitely a sign of a lack of proper nutrition. This is not to say that you are feeding him wrong, but could just be that he is not absorbing nutrition properly. This is really a simple issue but you do need to know the steps to take. If you want any information feel free to get back to me. I'd love to help.

God bless,

M.

You should take him to the dentist to make sure there is nothing horrible going on in his mouth.

But it could also be from his gut. My 17 year old son will sometimes eat something that causes him to have horrible breath the next morning. I give him a couple of Mint Asures and it really helps. He sucks on them until the minty taste is gone and then swallows them with water.

Probiotics and a whole foods diet are also good ideas but rule out dental problems first at the dentist. Good luck.

brushing your teeth and tongue properly are very important, but it is often from something more. Perhaps a gum disease? Or acid reflux? I cant remember the name of the pills, but there is a pill to help that, too. It is natural, but works from deep within. God Bless.

Probably better ask his Dr. or dentist. It could be that he's not drinking enough liquids, that there's some kind of infection or bacteria in his system, or something between some of his teeth. Hard to tell...

As long as he has been given the 'all clear' from the dentist, I would put the blame on the kid's toothpaste I am sure he is using. We have the same problem w/my 6yo son. The berry/bubblegum stuff just doesn't cut bad breathe, but it is next to impossible to get them to use one of the minty ones! I feel your pain!

Google "Tonsil Stones." Very disgusting, but harmless. Once they come out, the breath clears right up.

Make sure he is brushing his tongue. That is the biggest smelliest thing in your mouth. Also cant hurt to brush the insides of his cheeks as well and gums - below where the teeth start to show. Also check his tongue to make sure it is clear of fungus (would look white).

As far as brushing goes, I make it fun and sing a song like brusha, brushaa,brusha.
I remember when I was a child there was a girl with very bad breath. Finally her parents took her to the doctor they took an x-ray she had stuffed a small sponge up her nose and it was in her nasal passages, which caused her breath to smell. I have heard of a few stories like it since then. You might check into that.
Good luck

he should have started going to the dentist around age 2 make him an appointment you dont want this to evolve into something worse

I'm going to say that's it poor dental hygiene. My son (age 9) has horrible breath so bad that I had to start going behind him to brush his teeth. Then I had to make him start flossing at least every other day (I know he should do it everyday but small steps at a time). I still noticed a bad odor so I changed his toothpaste from the bubblegum flavored children's toothpaste to the adult flavored then I got him the children's listerine (Agent Blue) and I have him swish with that and brush all the blue away too so he can see what he misses. It has helped some. I also notice that when my son is getting sick, has a cold, or is constipated his breath is worse.

Sounds like it could be a tonsil problem where food gets trapped in the tonsils.

You just have to brush his teeth whether he likes you to or not. I HATE brushing my 4 year old son's but after we learned he has cavities, I regretted not doing a better job of it myself. As for the bad breath, have you mentioned it to his pediatrician? Sometimes halitosis can be a sign of something else. It's amazing what you learn about other bodily problems from what's going on in the mouth. Just call or ask the pediatrician next time you see him. Make sure you brush his teeth twice a day and then see if that has made a difference. Plus, maybe keep a record of what he normally eats and drinks for a week before you talk to the pediatrician, to see if his diet is contributing.

Therabreath is one of the best products on the line. Can get it at Walmart, and some drug stores. Look it up on line. Also Biotene tooth paste for dry mouth works well. There can be many different reasons for bad breath. The smell can come from your stomach, nose, tongue.

Do you take him to the dentist yet? They should have told you if he had cavities yet. You can try a children's mouthwash and insist that you brush them for the next few days and see if there is a change. although usually when there is a horrible smell it means there is a rotten tooth or a cavity. I would try brushing for him and if no change, schedule an appt at the dentist before it rots too much. You can also get a stronger toothpaste at his age. He should be using a stronger one w/ flouride in it.

Do you think he would be game for swishing? I know they make mouthwash for children- I think ACT brand. Anyway, maybe try that before brushing and see if it helps!

The bacteria that feeds off of sugar in the mouth can cause bad breath. If you reduce the consumption of sugar (which I'm sure you probably already do), you reduce the smelly bacteria.

It could be bad oral habits or it could be acid reflux. Acid reflux causes ruts in the throat that can trap food in them and the food actually rots and makes their breath smell like something dead. Good luck.

Hi K.,

It could be a problem with a tooth or it could be a sinus or ear infection. Have It checked out. If it's a tooth, you wouldn't want him to wait until he needs a root canal. If brushing is a problem, the dentist will talk to him about it.

Good luck!

Our 8 year old had a similar issue. However, it resolved when we got the Sonicare toothbrushes for my husband and I and let our son use the third (replacement) head. It cleans his teeth like nothing else! I can even SEE a difference. After that he uses the alcohol free mouthwash for 30 seconds. I just saw that Sonicare has come out with a kid's toothbrush. They are expensive, but definitely worth the cost. We LOVE them! And the dentist has noticed a difference too.

My four year old daughter had bad breath as well. I started giving her a probiotic each day and the breath smells better. You can get them at any health food store. Make sure you ask for a probiotic for kids.

My son had the same problem, probably a side effect from medication he takes daily. We tried a mouthwash called TheraBreath. It is expensive, about $7 a bottle...cheapest at Wal-Mart, but it is worth every penny since other kids would tease my son about his breath. It totally took away his bad breath (which was horrible).

If it smells that bad, there's a reason. I knew someone whose six-year-old suddenly had breath like that, and she had a rotting tooth. Have a look in his mouth - maybe you'll see it. If proper brushing and some mouthwash don't take care of it, take him to the dentist. You don't want to mess around, either. Those stinking bacteria can get into the blood stream and cause damage elsewhere.

Bad oral habits, underlying sickness, and eating the wrong kinds of foods are all triggers for my kids (and me). When we eat sugar, for instance, I notice that their breath smells bad, and I have horrible "morning breath". Meat is another one for me -- I do much better on a vegetarian diet [but I still like meat :-/]. I like the Blood Type Diet, and have found it helpful for me and my whole family.

When my daughter was 4 -- same thing happening! Her breath was just stale so we were constantly brushing her teeth and tongue. Turns out -- it was her tonsils and adenoids! Had them removed -- and no problems since. She also had started snoring terribly loudly through the night -- that stopped immediately too after the surgery!

Maybe have an ENT check him out -- worked for us!

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