WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR BAD BREATH?
· The cause of halitosis is often the coating on the middle third of the tongue. Therefore, gentle daily cleaning of the back (TOP) of the tongue is very important. A tongue cleaner should be used to gently clean the tongue surface.
· Routine oral hygiene procedures such as brushing and flossing are very important. Remember that children younger than 8 years of age are usually not able to floss on their own. Mouth rinses can also be useful, but only for children who have learned to spit it out..
· When bad breath is due to dry mouth (xerostomia), treatment involves having the child drink lots of sugar-free fluids. Sugarless gum may stimulate salivary flow. In very severe cases, an artificial salivary substitute such as carboxymethylcellulose may be needed.
· If bad breath is due to periodontal disease, an important part of the treatment is to improve oral hygiene at home.
· If bad breath is due to dental disease, treatment will be needed to restore or extract affected teeth.
Preventing Bad Breath
· Children should brush their teeth three times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. They should use dental floss every day to help reduce mouth odor. Children younger than 8 years of age will need to have their parents help them floss.
· Children should gently brush the posterior part (dorsum) of the tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush every day.
· Children should eat a good breakfast, as this will stimulate the flow of saliva and reduce oral microbial levels. Eating fibrous foods is highly recommended.
· Children with bad breath should rinse frequently with water, and drink plenty of fluids to help reduce dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum will also help stimulate salivary flow.
· Children should always avoid alcohol-containing mouth rinses, as they dry the oral tissues and may cause oral tissue sloughing. Remember that mouthwashes can poison young children, and should be kept out of reach of toddlers.
· Children should visit their dentist and physician regularly.