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There’s something magical about the newness of life and sweet smell of a baby’s soft skin, and many parents fall in love with the scent of their new baby. So it can be unsettling when you bend down for a kiss and are hit in the face with a foul stench coming from your baby’s mouth.
While every parent expects to hold their nose near a dirty diaper, most don’t expect their baby to have bad breath.
And you can’t exactly give them a tic-tac.
Most people relate bad breath to bad oral hygiene practices in adults, but bad baby breath is more common than most parents think.
Luckily, most cases have easy remedies and that will allow you to cuddle with your baby free of stinky kisses.
Bad breath is caused by increased bacterial growth between your teeth, around your gums, and on your tongue. While some smelly mouths are caused by underlying medical issues, the majority of cases of bad breath in babies can be prevented or treated easily by observing your baby and rethinking your hygiene habits.
The Mayo Clinic recommends seeing your doctor if your baby:
Your baby’s bad breath could be from one source or a combination of the above. Take the time to observe your baby and discover the underlying cause so you can begin treating it.
Experts agree that the best way to prevent bad breath is to stay on top of your child’s oral hygiene and it’s never too early to start. By practicing healthy habits early, you not only prevent problems, but also set your child up for good habits in the future.
Don’t be tempted to use mouthwash. It will only mask the problem and most young children have problems not swallowing it.
Anything that routinely ends up in your child’s mouth should be washed frequently. Hands, thumbs, teddy bears, and security blankets should be washed often. If you use pacifiers they should be sterilized as often as possible in the dishwasher or in boiling water.
Of course, taking your child for regular dental appointments to make sure their mouth continues to stay clean and healthy. If they continue to have bad breath, it’s time to see your doctor.
The American Dental Association provides guidelines to help you keep your child’s mouth healthy at every age.
Don’t take it personally or fret if your little one has bad breath. Simply be vigilant and consistent with establishing a healthy oral hygiene routine. By teaching your children good habits early on, they can meet their adult years with fresh breath.
No tic-tacs required.
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