How Do I Prevent My Toddler From Having Bad Breath?

Toddler smiling

I need advice on how to take proper care of a 17-month-old baby’s mouth.

I have been using a soft baby towel soaked in warm water and a pinch of salt to clean her tongue from the time she was 3 days old.

Sometime in July, I decided to buy Milk teeth toothpaste and start using that instead of the salt, because her teeth had begun sprouting. So, last month, I discovered that she had begun to have bad breath which my husband and I ascribed to the flu she had. I bought Moko glycerine to use that and clean her mouth, but there has been no improvement.

I have taken permission from work to take her to the hospital on Monday. She just has 7 teeth and the others are yet to come out, even though they are showing signs of sprouting. I feel brushing is too early and won’t be a good idea.

Please, has anyone gone through this situation with their child? if you did, what did you do to sort this issue out? These days I find it hard to clean the back of her tongue because she refuses to allow me to clean it. A friend of mine said that antibiotics will do the magic, but I will see a doctor first before I administer any drugs.

Please share what you think I can do, thank you.

Note: Toddlers are more prone to bad breath if they go to daycare, as they get in contact with other tots carrying respiratory viruses. These viruses cause post nasal drip, congestion, and sore throats.

What can you do to come out of this situation? Read the tips below to free your toddler from bad breath.

How To Get Rid Of Bad Breath In Toddlers?


Oral health is the key. The best thing to do is to generate more saliva and reduce bacterial growth. Take the following steps to deal with bad breath in your toddler:
  • Teach your tot to brush his or her teeth well to fight bacteria. Brushing after every meal with a soft toothbrush would remove the food stuck in the teeth, preventing decay.
  • Keep your toddler’s tongue clean using soft cleaners.
  • Get your baby to drink more water. It helps in enhancing the production of saliva.
  • Use a non-abrasive toothpaste. Use an American Dental Association-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your little one’s teeth every day to remove the odor-causing food particles from the teeth.
  • To effectively clean the debris and plaques, use a new toothbrush every three months.
  • Frequently wash his hands using soap.
  • If he is habituated to sucking his fingers, wash his toys and other objects often.
  • Sterilize his pacifier, if he uses one.
Do not use mouthwash for your toddler. He will find it difficult to spit and swish. Moreover, mouthwashes only cover the underlying problem. Many types of mouthwash use alcohol, which is just a masking agent. They only worsen bad breath by promoting dry mouth conditions.

When To See A Doctor?


You should regularly take your little one for dental checkups to maintain clean and healthy teeth. If he has a persistent bad breath, consult the dentist without any delay. Good oral and dental care should ideally end the problem of bad breath.

If the halitosis in toddlers lasts even after the mouth is determined healthy, you may have to go for additional tests to diagnose the underlying cause. Toddlers suffer from bad breath problems not only due to bad oral care but also because of some diseases. If you can sense an unusual or harsh odor, visit the doctor immediately.

A flu virus or throat infection in toddlers can cause a fever, loss of appetite, and bad breath. Once the underlying cause of the fever is gone, the bad breath disappears.

Thus, good oral and dental care would help to keep bad breath in toddlers at bay. Also, teaching good dental care habits at an early age will have a long-lasting impact. It requires a lot of patience to deal with bad breath in toddlers. Just do not make your little one too conscious about this!
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