Monday, March 2, 2009

Poooeey Stinky Stinky

Tonight when taleisha came up to me I got a real wiff of her breath and OMG it stunk. I'd never noticed it before so I think it's definitely only come up today but it's foul.

She brushes her teeth herself under our supervision and she's really good but tonight I made sure I did them first and then let her brush them, so they were in fact brushed twice. However even after that her breath still stunk. So I checked her nose, for some reason I remember watching some medico show and a kid had a pea stuck up his nose or it could have even beed a small toy but that had caused his breath to stink, but besides some dried up snot (charming) I couldn't see anything.

I consulted Dr Google (as you do, and on a side note the google letters are in Dr Seuss characters, too cool) and it said this:

Healthy children (and adults, too!) do sometimes have bad breath. If the smell disappears after brushing his teeth or rinsing his mouth, it's normal. Also, keep in mind that what seems like bad breath to you may not be offensive to others.

That said, normal bacteria living in the mouth and interacting with leftover food particles could cause true breath odour in a healthy child. The food particles could be between the teeth, at the gum line, on the tongue, or on the surface of the tonsils at the back of your child's throat.

Bacteria that react to saliva also can cause bad breath, especially if left undisturbed in the mouth for a period of time. This is one reason we all have "morning breath". After a long night's sleep, the reaction between the substances in our mouth has caused an odour, which remains until we brush or rinse it away. Eating and drinking can help cleanse the offending substances from the mouth, so it may help to give your toddler more frequent drinks of water and snacks such as fruit and sugar-free rusks or crackers.

If your son sucks his thumb, uses a pacifier, or sucks or chews on a blanket, this may be why he has bad breath. The object may have an odour from repeated exposure to saliva and oral bacteria. It also may have other residue on it, such as old food. Make sure he washes his hands frequently with soap if he's a thumb-sucker. If he uses a dummy, sterilise it frequently, either by running it through the dishwasher or dropping it in boiling water. Likewise, wash "security blankets" or "cuddlies" frequently. Of course, you can also encourage him to stop the sucking habit, but this is easier said than done.

Poor dental hygiene with tartar build-up, gingivitis, or a dental abscess could also cause bad breath. Your toddler may be intimidated by a trip to the dentist so it may be easier to ask your doctor to inspect his teeth and gums.

The first thing the doctor will probably check is your toddler's nose, to see whether your child has a foreign body, such as a piece of food or small toy, lodged in one of his nostrils. The only symptom may be breath odour or persistent nasal discharge. A sinus infection or respiratory infection such as bronchiolitis can also cause bad breath.

Less commonly, an infection of the back of the throat can also cause foul-smelling breath. The odour may be caused by inflammation of the pharynx (pharyngitis) or of the tonsils (tonsilitis). Even if the tonsils aren't inflamed, they may have food and debris trapped in their many crevices. Your child's doctor can check for this debris, which is usually white, during a throat exam. If this is the problem, it will resolve itself once the debris is removed.

Lastly, some children with gastroesophageal reflux, or regurgitation of their food, have a foul breath odour. However, if this were the culprit, your toddler would almost certainly be experiencing other symptoms, such as discomfort after eating.

She doesn't suck her thumb, she drinks plenty of water, she doesn't have any sigh of any other illness. So I'm not too sure what to think of it, maybe my nose is just being super sensitive and it really isn't that bad. Hubby didn't seem to think too much of it when I told her to go breath on him, so he could smell her breath.

Not too sure what to do, maybe I should take her to the doctors to get checked out, it's a reason to find ourselves a local doctor at the very least and a don't want to be known as the mum to the smelly kid, so really want to work out what is causing the problem.

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