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Bad Breath in Children and Teens – How to Have the Talk

Bad Breath in Children and Teens – How to Have the Talk

  You lean down to kiss your primary schooler and notice a smell that reminds you of last night͛s dinner, but not in a good way. You put it down to the fact that he probably hasn͛t brushed his teeth but don’t be fooled. Halitosisos bad breath in children can sometimes be a whole lot more than skipping teeth brushing. The challenge with bad breath in children When it comes to a child having bad breath, they͛re often the last to realise. And though they might think it͛s funny to joke about, it is a cause for concern. Explaining what can happen if they don͛t address their bad breath is often the best tactic to begin to solve the problem. The floss test The most effective way to assess the goings on in your child’s mouth is have them floss and to… smell it.  Not a great way to start the day and if there’s a problem it may be deeply unpleasant!  This is the best way to get an assessment of your child’s oral hygiene status and to get them to self-assess and manage.  Other favourites include lick test͛ for not having to take a whiff of your child͛’s mouth every day. This test will give them some responsibility for checking their breath; they’ll think it͛s grossly hilarious. Forget the method of cupping hands over the mouth, breathing out and taking a sniff. This DIY breath test is unreliable because the air can escape. A more effective way, besides the floss test, is for your child to lick the back of their hand with the part of the tongue as far back as possible. Wait ten minutes for the saliva to dry and then smell it. ͚Mum, my hand stinks!͛ If this is the outcome of the lick test, it͛s time to lay the realities on the table. Explain why bad breath is bad It is important to emphasise the realities of having bad breath to children and teens, what it actually is, what happens if it͛s ignored and what they need to do to rectify it. Bad breath can mean: Your child has pieces of food stuck between their teeth because they didn’t brush and floss properly. This could lead to cavities. •Your child has developed a cavity or cavities because of poor dental hygiene. Depending on how far it has progressed, it could cause pain, health issues and cost money to repair. •Your child has a layer of plaque on their teeth due to poor brushing technique. Your child has developed a cavity or cavities because of poor dental hygiene. Depending on how far it has progressed, it could cause pain, health issues and cost money...

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