Q: Good morning ma’am. Thank you ma’am for your good work. I have a daughter who, most times, her mouth smells. She is 2 years 6 month. I brush her mouth twice a day with ……. I even use cotton wool to clear the mouth and tongue. Please ma’am, what do you think I should do or use? Thank ma. You can reply me in the public forum for those who seek.
A: Bad breath at any age is traumatic but in a young child, it often leaves the parents wondering what they are doing wrong J
Improper brushing of teeth is always an issue. People argue that they brush their teeth and their children’s teeth properly, but this may not be completely true. Do you brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, paying attention to every section? Do you brush your tongue? Do you floss? Remember that food particles between teeth can interact with bacteria that live normally in the mouth and lead to stinking mouths…same for food debris at the gum line and tonsils. And then, when a baby has a congested nose and breaths with his/her mouth, the dry conditions enable the bacteria to thrive.
Tonsilitis, finger sucking by babies, tooth cavities and buildup of tartar on teeth can all cause bad breath.
What can you do as a parent? Get involved. Help your baby with brushing the teeth to teach her the right technique. Brushing times can become fun bonding times for mummy and her daughter or for daddy and son. Sing nice fun songs and brush your own teeth at the same time too
Remember that oral care (care of the mouth) should start even before the first tooth erupts. Regularly wipe your baby’s mouth and gum with a wet flannel and as soon as the first tooth/teeth erupt, start brushing. Use tooth paste that does not contain fluoride until your baby can spit. What tooth paste does not contain fluoride? Ask at your regular supermarket or simply pick up the packs of the different tooth pastes and look for one that does not contain fluoride
J Use a tiny amount of paste initially (about the size of a grain of rice), then graduate to a pea sized amount and tooth paste that contains fluoride, when the child can spit out.
Remember the rule of twos: Take your baby to see the dentist twice a year, help her and teach her to brush her teeth at least twice a day (three if you can manage it, after every meal) and be sure to ensure that she spends at least 2 minutes brushing her teeth. A simple way of doing this is mentally dividing the mouth/teeth into four quadrants/sections. Then spend at least 30 seconds on each side, making sure you brush every surface of the teeth.
Then be sure not to forget the tongue. Pay attention to every side and use a soft bristled brush to do a good job. There are tongue scrapers which can be purchased alone or tooth brushes which come with bristles at the back for brushing the tongue.
Stay off alcoholic mouth washes for your baby as the alcohol just worsens the dryness in the mouth, and remember that mouth washes are just temporary fixes. They only mask the bad breath and not treat it.
Encourage your baby to drink water regularly, especially if she has dry mouth and she has got to scrub her hands regularly too, if she suck her fingers/thumb.
Eating strong smelling foods like onions and garlic could also cause mouth odour which may not be taken care of by brushing. This is because these ‘foods’ are absorbed into the blood stream and excreted through the lungs. So, the smell will persist until excretion is complete. The small can be masked with mouth wash etc
These should be sufficient to stop the bad breath. If they don’t however, please see your doctor to rule out other causes of bad breath like cavities in the teeth, sinus infections etc
I hope y’all had a great day?
Have a good night, everyone 😀