Generally when you think of a bad smell coming from a baby, it has to do with their diaper. While it is relatively uncommon, a number of babies actually have bad breath. While this can be an area of concern for new parents, there are a number of actions that can be taken to remedy or reduce bad breath in babies.

What Causes Bad Breath in Babies?

The mouth is not clean. This is the most likely situation if your baby has bad breath. You can rinse and wipe their mouth, gums and teeth (when they grow in) with water and a soft cloth. This should be done between every feeding and before being put to bed. When your baby is between a year and 18 months, you can begin using a baby toothbrush and flouride-free toothpaste.

Poor diet. Sugary foods increase the rate of bacterial growth. After the nursing phase, you should really try to give your baby digestible food that is low in sugar content.

Something is lodged in their mouth or nasal cavity. Babies and toddlers are notorious for sticking foreign objects in their little noses. Whether it’s a small pea or a tiny toy, this blockage disrupts the normal nasal flow and can cause stinky breath.

Dry mouth. Just like with adults, mouth-breathing reduces the amount of saliva that naturally washes away mouth bacteria. This dry state creates an optimal place for bacteria growth. Dry mouth tends to happen when babies sleep with their mouths open. If you think this may be the case, have your baby drink plenty of water.

An illness or condition. Just like adults, halitosis in babies can be a result of an underlying disease or condition. One thing that is common in babies is gastroesophageal reflux disease, or the regurgitation of food. Your baby may also have sinus, throat or mouth infection. If you think this could be the cause of your child’s breath, we highly recommend you visit a pediatrician.

In more severe cases, your baby may have typhoid fever (baked bread smell), Aasthouse urine disease (celery breath), arsenic or thallium poisoning (garlicky breath). While these cases are much less frequent, they are realistic explanations.

What Can I do About it?

The best way to get rid of your baby’s bad breath is to figure out exactly why it’s happening. We encourage to clean your baby’s mouth regularly and instill in them proper dental care. Check their nose and nasal cavity for lodged items or a sinus issue. Fresh food and plenty of water is another great way to have your baby’s breath smelling and wonderful as they are.

If you think your child may have a serious condition causing their bad breath, we ask that you speak to a pediatrician as soon as possible

About the Author: Dr. Dailley is a practicing dentist in the Bay Area specializing in patients with moderate to severe halitosis. In addition to his bad breath clinic, The Center for Breath Treatment, Dr. Dailley also runs an online store where you can products to treat your bad breath. Browse the selection to find the right halitosis treatment kit today.