Bad Breath - Cleveland,TX

Updated on September 25, 2014
M.F. asks from Cleveland, TX
20 answers

My sweet five year old daughter has bad breath! It smells like morning breath or like when she has a cold. I have noticed it and can't figure out why. I brush her teeth thoroughly in the morning and before bed, we have a good diet and don't eat heavily spiced food . She gets regular cleanings and has very nice teeth with no cavities. I even bought her mouth wash to use( tom's of Maine for adults since I could not find their kids one) and it's minty and very nonchalantly asked her if she wanted to swish her mouth. It didn't work I guess cause she used it for the first time this morning and she was told her breath smells bad at school. It smells even right after she brushes her teeth. Twice this year(that she has told me about) a little girl at school had told her her breath smells terrible. I don't want kids to be mean to her or make her feel insecure. Has any one experienced this with their kids and is there anything I can do about it?

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answers from Beaumont on

It is definitely a sign of something going on. I would have a complete exam done by the dentist and the doctor. Someone on here chastised you for brushing her teeth, but if my five year old was having such a persistent problem I would be brushing her teeth too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Floss, floss, floss! It's the tartar that is between the teeth that the toothbrush doesn't get. My GD has the same issue. I got her a water pik and it really helps. I will also have her put a capful or so of listerine in the water for the water pik for extra freshness!

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answers from Washington DC on

Does she brush her tongue? Many people forget to brush their tongue and it holds a boat load of bacteria which causes halitosis (bad breath).

If she has allergies, she might have post nasal drip/drainage, which we all know can be ugly breath!!

Take her to an ENT and to the dentist to make sure she doesn't have a physical problem. Make sure that her tongue is brushed every time she brushes her teeth.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Sounds like a possible sinus infection or adenoids. If your Dentist can't find any cause then I would see a Pediatric ENT. My little sister constantly had what your describing, once she saw the ENT we found out she had had a sinus infection and her adenoids needed to be removed also tubes put in her ears. Once that was all taken care of the bad breath went away. Some children never complain about symptoms. Good luck.

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answers from San Francisco on

I've answered this question so many times. My daughter had the same problem.

She has tonsil stones and/or cryptic tonsils (also known as tonsilloths, as Canuck stated). Take a good look at her tonsils with a light. You will see white, smelly nodules on her tonsils. Check out this link, for example, and be prepared to be grossed out:

Just google tonsil stones. You can push them out with a q-tip. Sometimes you have to get the long q-tips from the doctor's office. Nothing smells worse than a tonsil stone, except for maybe a dead body.

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answers from Las Vegas on

Is she flossing her teeth? Perhaps there is something stuck between her teeth. Is she brushing her gums and tongue?

Another thing that could cause an oder is her nose. Is she congested or stuffy? Make sure she blows her nose so that nothing is sitting in her nose too long.

On that note, could she have stuffed something in there? Is she one to wad up the tissue and stick it in her nose for a nose bleed or running nose? Use a flash light and take a look.

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answers from Louisville on

Is she flossing? Brushing/scraping her tongue?

You might also check her nose... Kids have a tendency to stick things up there, and it can cause some nasty breath. My MIL likes to tell the story about get time my SIL stuck a Barbie shoe up her nose, then left it for almost 3 weeks. It didn't come out on it's own, and just sat there and stagnated until MIL got concerned over her NASTY breath and took her to the doctor... Who discovered and extracted the shoe and solved the problem. :)

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answers from Washington DC on

I would do a tongue scraper (or brush her tongue well) plus find a more kid-friendly mouthwash (does she actually like mint well enough to use enough mouthwash? Many kids hate minty mouthwashes), but if there's no improvement after a week, please get her to the dentist ASAP. I have heard of the tonsil stones but honestly I can't see popping something on a young kid's tonsil myself unless you know your child is going to hold still and not get a bit freaked out. I'd want a dentist to check to see if tonsil stones, or flossing issues, are behind this.

I want to add: If it's not tonsil stones and the things like cleaning and rinsing don't help, please see her pediatrician -- don't let it wait too long. Diabetes has symptoms that look like other things and one symptom can be foul breath -- Google "bad breath and diabetes." Even if you have no history of diabetes in the family, a child still can have it; I know several families with diabetic kids where there is no other diabetes in the family. If it's not diabetes, there are other medical issues that can cause bad breath. Most likely this is something simple like tonsil stones or just a body chemistry that causes bad breath -- but do not wait and wait if it continues; do see the doctor to rule out other medical issues.

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answers from Norfolk on

Try a tongue scrapper.
You can also have her swish coconut oil around in her mouth for 10 or so min then have her spit it into a paper towel and throw it away (never down the sink - it'll clog up your drain).
It helps keep my breath fresh.
Sinus infection or tonsil stones or acid stomach can make breath smell bad too.
Activated charcoal tablets can help control bad breath and body odors too.

Oh I just remembered - when our son was losing his baby tooth molars, the roots were dissolving and he had a funky smell coming from under his tooth.
When it finally came out, his breath was a whole lot better.

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answers from Chicago on

She could have post nasal drip causing the bad breath. You could have her checked by ear nose and throat doc to see how her adenoids are. Not necessarily to have them removed but at least it would solve the mystery of her breath.

I had a nephew that had horrible breath when he was little. They had his teeth all taken care of and still was horrible. They never had him checked for adenoids or anything but it did eventually go away as he got older.

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answers from Raleigh on

It's probably tonsil stones or tonsilloliths. These are harmless and are mainly the debris caught by the tonsils. But, those things smell absolutely terrible and can make the breath smell, as well. Kids get them often, as their tonsils are larger and more pitted. As we grow, our tonsils get smaller and tonsil stones are less of a problem. You can tell if she has these by having her say "Ah" and shine a flashlight back towards the tonsils. They will be white and lodged in the pits of her tonsils.
If you find tonsil stones, the best thing to so at this age is have her gargle after eating (if she will), or swish her mouth out with water. The other thing that does help is to make sure she brushes her tongue well. I get these tonsil stones still (I'm 39). While I generally extract them myself, I have found that brushing my tongue does help with the accumulation in the tonsils.

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answers from Grand Forks on

Maybe she has tonsilloliths or sneeze nuggets? Ask the doctor to check.

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answers from Cleveland on

Diabetes and acid reflux can cause bad breath.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Buy her a tongue scrubber. They make me gag, but they work.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

I agree with the others who suggestion having her sinus infection or adenoids checked.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

It might be her tonsils. I'd take her to the doctor to try to figure this out.



answers from Anchorage on

When was her last set of full dental X-rays? My son was having bad breath and it turned out that when his back molars moved in they damaged the root system to the tooth next to them, and after a while infection set in and he had abscessed teeth on both sides of his mouth. Once we had the teeth removed we had no further issues with bad breath.



answers from Oklahoma City on

For one thing I can't imagine an adult brushing a 5 year olds teeth. She's old enough to brush her own teeth.

Bad breath doesn't come from the mouth all the time. It can come from the stomach area too. I'm not sure what to do for it but google what to do about bad breath after brushing teeth and you may get some other stuff besides cleaning her tongue while brushing.



answers from Rochester on

Unless her breath smells like acetone or has a fruity smell, you probably aren't dealing with diabetes. My husband and kids all have Type 1 Diabetes and bad breath has never been an issue for them, even when first diagnosed.

She probably has tonsil stones. They make the mouth smell terrible! Whenever I encounter someone with extreme halitosis, I wish I could recommend they get their tonsils checked.

It's fine for you to brush your 5 year old's teeth. According to our dentist, kids shouldn't brush without assistance until age 6.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Does she have allergies? Postnasal drip and/or mouth breathing because of allergies would cause the same thing. In that case, the treatment is to treat the allergies.

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