7 Common Causes of Bad Breath in Toddlers

Toddlers are cute, cuddly and smell really sweet. There are days, however, when your toddler will wake up with bad breath.  Just like a headache in adults, bad breath in toddlers is an indication that something somewhere is not right. A parent can read a lot from her child’s breath. Some experienced moms will even smell tonsillitis before their kids show other symptoms. In this post, we look at the 6 most common causes of bad breath in toddlers.


Sinus infections, allergies and tonsillitis are major culprits when it comes to bad breath in children. Another condition is the gastroesophageal reflux disease characterized by an acidic, fruity smell. If you are sure that hygiene, cavities and the other symptoms below are not to blame, you might want to see your child’s pediatrician.

Poor Hygiene

Just like in adults, food buildup in your toddler’s mouth can lead to bad breath. To prevent this from happening, use a soft toddler’s tooth brush to clean your toddler’s teeth, gums and tongue after meals and just before bed.


If left unattended for a long time. Poor hygiene can lead to cavities in toddlers as well as in adults. Cavities in turn worsen the bad breath situation.

Dry Mouth

A mouth is designed to be wet at all times. This maintains the bacteria in the mouth in acceptable levels. When your toddler develops an infection, however, they breathe through their mouth and this makes it dry. Dryness in the mouth accelerates the rate at which bacteria grows. This leads to bad breath. Treating infections early and drinking lots of water can help.
Foreign Object Stuck in the Nose

Some kids are notorious for putting small beads, toy parts or grains in their noses. They will then suffer in silence. Bad breath is one of the signs to look out for.

Strong and Pungent foods 

As delicious and healthy as garlic and onions make food, they also come with very strong and pungent smells that can affect the breath of everyone in the family, toddlers included.


Some parents swear that their babies’ breaths change when they are teething.

Until we see each other again, 

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