You know full well that eating a garlic and onion falafel right before a personal conversation or meeting is a terrible idea. Bad breath is embarrassing and downright gross in many social situations, so as adults we try our hardest to prevent it by controlling what we eat and brushing our teeth. Since babies don’t have that luxury, their breath can sometimes get stinky. Usually, it can be traced right back to what they ate. If you let your little one nibble on a pickle after lunch, you might notice a salty brine smell later in the afternoon. However, your baby’s bad breath might be a cause for concern if it is persistent and lasts more than just a day or so. It could be caused by a more serious problem.

Assuming your baby didn’t just eat anything too pungent, you should try washing all of his or her toys. Almost everything makes its way into a baby’s mouth, so bacteria could be the cause of the stench. Also, it could be dangerous to your baby’s health, so giving everything a good clean is a good idea anyway. Use a soap that is safe for babies and thoroughly wash all of baby’s favorite chew toys. If the bad breath doesn’t go away after that, the cause could be something else.

Bad breath could be caused by a cold. When your baby is congested, he will be breathing out of his mouth more than usual, which could cause a foul odor. Treat the cold based on the pediatrician’s recommendations and the odor will eventually go away. Consider using a bulb syringe. If that solution doesn’t work, there could be one more cause.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)could be the last possible cause. However, by the time the bad breath is a problem, you’ll probably have noticed other symptoms such as frequent vomiting or stomach pain. Talk to your baby’s pediatrician if GERD seems to be the cause.

Once you’re sure your baby’s halitosis isn’t caused by something serious such as GERD or a virus, you shouldn’t be concerned about it. More likely than not, it’s just the result of pungent food. Keep your baby’s mouth clean and it will go away. Besides, people who meet your baby will be too distracted with his cuteness to even notice, so it’s not like you’ll have to make any excuses for the odor.

Source: Guiseppina Campisi et al: Halitosis: Could it Be More than Mere Bad Breath? International Emergency Medicine Volume 6 pp. 315-319 2011

Keyword Tags: