7 Causes of Infant & Baby Bad Breath & Treatments
Does your infant or baby have bad breath?
You are not alone. It happens. Just like the rest of us. Just because babies are super precious doesn’t immune them from stinky breath. Baby bad breath is a real thing.
Learn what the possible causes could be and how to help your infants bad breath.
Why does my baby have bad breath?
Here are some possible causes of bad breath in infants:
- Smelly food
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dry mouth
- Allergies and sinus issues
- Dental disease
- Acid reflux
- Bacteria from objects
1) Smelly Food
Like everyone else, the foods babies consume can linger through their mouths and bodies. Garlic, asparagus, curry and so on. Those foods and many others can cause bad breath in infants and babies.
2) Poor Oral Hygiene
One thing infants and babies can’t do well is clean their mouths themselves. For instance, if we consume a food and it goes between the teeth or up in the vestibule (the area between the teeth, lips and cheek), we can easily clean in out by moving our tongue around to push food off. Or even better, by brushing or flossing.
Well a baby can’t really do that themselves. Food stuck in their mouths can really cause a snitch.
Be sure to clean your babies mouth thoroughly every morning and night and after each meal. If they do not have teeth, wipe and massage their gums with a soft, clean cloth.
Start flossing nightly as soon as the first teeth erupt. Once they erupt teeth, use a soft toothbrush after each feeding.
Check babies vestibule for leftover food and make sure to wipe out well and keep gums clean.
Dry mouth can be due to a few things. It can be due to the baby breathing through their mouth. Or like my children, they could be breathing through their mouth because they are so congested.
My children stayed congested as infants. If this is the case with you, be sure to follow up with your pediatrician to get their recommendation. I always used a humidifier which helped greatly!
When they were old enough, they would get Children’s Benadryl which helped dry up the congestion and free up their ability to breathe through their nose. Of course, check with your pediatrician.
4) Allergies & Sinus Issues
Bad breath in babies sickness or allergies :
Allergies and sinus issues can likely cause smelly drainage. This can be a definite cause of infant bad breath as well as in anyone else.
Sinus drainage can be a terrible smell. Take your child to their pediatrician as they may need some medication to help combat the infection.
5) Dental disease in infants
Cavities, infection and gingivitis can cause smelly bad breath in infants as well. Be sure to take your little one to the see the dentist at least every 6 months starting as soon as their first tooth erupts. If you notice any issues before their next appointment is due, you should make an appointment to see the dentist for an exam and express your concerns.
6)Acid reflux infants
Oftentimes, infants can get acid reflux or GERDS. This can cause infant breath to smell and should be looked at by their pediatrician. They can often evaluate and prescribe a good diet and proper medication to get reflux under control. This is very important to resolve because acid reflux can cause many other issues such as tooth erosion.
7) Bacteria from objects
Baby bad breath teething :
Babies love to put things in their mouth. Their thumbs, teething toys, blankets. You name it. These things can grow bacteria at a fast rate especially after being soaked in saliva. A major cause of baby bad breath is teething. Dried saliva is a breeding grounds for smelly bacteria.
Keep all teething toys sanitized and clean. Be sure to wash babies hands and clean babies mouth often to keep bacteria counts at bay.
Kelly Hancock, RDH