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Infant Bad Breath

Infant bad breath can make first time parents panic as bad breath is not something associated with infants, thus it can be an alarm signal. Infant bad breath is not an uncommon thing and it can be triggered by a variety of factors. Learn what can cause your baby's bad breath to avoid complications.


Infant bad breath, as weird as it might sound, is actually a problem most parents have to deal with. It is difficult to associate bad breath with a baby, as babies are most often associated with a sweet scent, a scent which brings a smile to everyone's faces, but bacteria that causes bad breath can affect everyone, from grownups to infants.

What causes infant bad breath?

Your baby's bad breath can be triggered by several factors. Most of the time bad breath is a sign of an infection that affects your baby's mouth or throat. Infection is caused by bacteria and as everyone knows bacteria releases an unpleasant smell. Colds, swollen tonsils can also lead to bad breath as the saliva found in the mouth dries out, providing a perfect environment for the bacteria to thrive in.

Sinusitis and other conditions which might lead to nasal respiratory problems can aid bad breath. If your baby's nasal respiratory ways are blocked you baby will breath through the mouth, leading to mouth dryness and the multiplication of the oral bacteria.

It is not uncommon for the baby to develop bad breath due to the baby's diet. Certain ingredients found in different foods have strong scents so if your child is already eating cooked food and you use garlic for example, your baby might develop a bad breath, temporarily.
Because infections and bacteria growth can pose a health threat for your baby it is necessary to consult a pediatrician. The pediatrician will be able to determine the exact type of bacteria which affects your baby's bad breath and offer the proper medicine in case of an infection.

Non health-based bad breath triggering factors


Bad breath is not always caused by infections which affect your baby's mouth and throat; other non health-based factors can aid bad breath as well.

  • it is not uncommon for babies to suckle on their thumb, and this can be a triggering factor for bad breath. By suckling the thumb the mouth becomes dryer, providing a perfect environment for the bacteria to thrive in, causing bad breath

  • suckling on the pacifier can have the exact effect as thumb suckling, and if the pacifier is not cleaned on a regular basis it can lead to increased bacteria and possibly infections

  • feeding your baby formula or mild during the night can lead to bad breath as the mouth becomes dry and the milk becomes to ferment and release a bad smell


  • These factors are not health related thus they don't require any medical treatment.

    How to prevent infant bad breath


    Preventing infant bad breath can easily be done by turning to a pediatrician's help whenever you are suspicious of an infection. This will help prevent the bacteria from developing and stop the bad breath.
    Another way to prevent bad breath, especially if it is triggered by non health based factors is by trying to maintain your baby's mouth clean. Use a clean, soft and wet washcloth to clean the inside of your baby's mouth. Make sure you baby drinks enough water if he/she is old enough, to maintain the mouth area hydrated.
    Keep your baby's hands and pacifier clean so no bacteria is introduced in the mouth.



    Tags: infant bad breath, bad breath, infant mouth smell, mouth, foul breath, baby bad breath, baby breath


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