What Every Mother Should Know About Bad Breath And Body Odor

Just picture this - Your child wants to tell you a secret. They move closer to your face and open their mouth. They start whispering in your ear. What is that smell coming out of my child's mouth?

Or, you decide to come closer to your child to tickle them and it smells like someone hasn't bathed this entire week.

Is there something wrong that my child always has some sort of malodor? Is it going to go away? What remedies are there?

1. What Is The Reason For Malodor?

Malodor can include halitosis, a medical condition commonly known as bad breath, or it could be bad body odor. There can be many different reasons why these specific areas of your child are smelly. Let's break it down.

Halitosis can be due to eating something that smells strong. This includes onions, garlic, sodas, or cheese. However, it is usually not the case as these smells disappear easily. What is more of a problem is the fact that your child is not brushing their teeth or flossing. Thus, dental hygiene is very important. Children tend to eat a lot of sweets and unhealthy food. Nonetheless, any type of food can cause a smelly breath if there are pieces in the mouth that start to rot or collect bacteria. Plaque, a sticky, colorless film will start to build up on the teeth. This leads to tooth decay. Another reason may be due to the lack of production of saliva in the mouth.

Then there is the problem of serious body odor. This is an unpleasant smell on the skin that is produced by bacteria that breaks down the acid in sweat. As children are constantly active, running around and playing, they tend to sweat a lot. The medical term for this is bromhidrosis. Small children and babies do not usually have an odor. However, when your child has reached puberty, their apocrine sweat glands develop. The body tends to produce more odor around this time of age. Unfortunately, men sweat more than women, thus they are prone to have a stronger body odor.

The causes of body odor include:

Fresh Onion and Garlic Causes Body Odor
  • Excessive sweating
  • Being overweight
  • Eating certain foods such as fish, onions, garlic, spices, and cheese
  • Diabetes
  • A genetic disorder which is known as Trimethylaminuria
  • Poor hygiene
  • Hormonal change, such as puberty

Bottom Line:

Children who go through a hormonal change, such as puberty, tend to have an odor to their sweat. This is due to the sweat glands that have developed. A smelly breath is usually due to eating strong smelling foods or not brushing teeth.

2. Signs And Symptoms

If you notice your child's tongue is a white or yellow color, this may be an indication of bad breath. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Having a very smelly breath in the morning
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • A post-nasal drip
  • Thick saliva in the mouth
  • Dry mouth with little saliva in the mouth
  • Dehydration

The potency of a smelly body is usually detected around the feet, armpits, and around the pubic area. Other than smelling bad, your child may show other symptoms that support the situation. These include sweating, night sweating, change in odor, during weight loss, and also if your child's hands are cold.

Bottom Line:

Certain signs and symptoms will show you if your child has a bad smelling breath or a bad-smelling body. Dehydration and bad hygiene are the main causes of both conditions.

3. What Can I Do To Fix A Smelly Breath?

Child Cleaning Her Tongue

As mentioned above, one of the main reasons for the bad smell that comes from your child's mouth is due to not brushing teeth. Also, it may be due to bacteria on the tongue. To treat this, gently clean the tongue with the toothbrush. Many toothbrushes actually have a plastic strip on the back that is designed for tongue cleansing. If your child is old enough, you can give them breath mints to suck or chew.

Give your child mouthwash to use after they have brushed their teeth. Also, it is very important that you ensure your child brushes their teeth in the morning and the evening before bedtime. In addition to this, you can teach your child how to floss their teeth to remove hard to reach particles. It is also very beneficial for your child's teeth to visit the dentist at least two times a year. Lastly, it is important that your child stays hydrated as dehydration could lead to a dry mouth with thick saliva, causing a smelly breath.

Bottom Line:

There are many remedies to stop and prevent a smelly breath. When your child is small, start teaching them how to clean their teeth and tongue properly. Also, provide them with healthy food and enough fluids to stay hydrated. Take your child to the dentist.

4. Preventing The Causes of Body Odor

To start off with, before bedtime make sure your child applies an antiperspirant. This product is designed to help reduce sweating. If the antiperspirant also contains a deodorant, it will help with the smell. You can also provide your child with some talc powder as bacteria does not grow where it is dry. With this said, do not allow your children to wear the same clothes every day or for long periods of time. Especially after a hot day or after being very active. Remember to also change socks regularly.

Child Drinking Bottle of Water

Following on the topic of hygiene, ensure your child baths at least once a day. Teach your child from small where and how to wash their body. After bathing also ensure your child has dried their body properly as these can also be the causes of body odor.

When looking at that what goes into your child's body, first focus on keeping your child hydrated. Lack of water in the body causes a build-up of toxins and it is best to keep the system flushed. You can also change the diet in the household. Eat less spicy foods and cut down on fatty foods.

Bottom Line:

Here you also need to teach your child from small about washing and drying off properly. Provide your child with an antiperspirant as well as enough fluids. Ensure your child has clean dry clothes and socks to wear every day.

Our Ultimate Take Home Message

Children may get teased if others smell their breath or body and it is not a fresh and clean smell. This may lead to self-esteem issues and embarrassment, which may cause other complications later on in life. As a parent, it is best to always ensure your child's hygiene is carefully monitored. If you start to see excessive sweating, smell serious body odor, notice dehydration, or poor hygiene habits - help your child.

Determine the cause of the problem and treat it accordingly with the remedies provided in this article or provided by a doctor. If your child has a combination of these two types of odor, thus a malodor, it is beneficial to use a natural dietary supplement that will target the situation or consult a healthcare professional for informative advice. Either way, the problem can be treated and you as a parent can prevent your child from being in very uncomfortable situations with other people. Maybe you will even be able to hear the secret your child wanted to tell you without passing out from the smell.

Researched and written by experts, brought to you by our team at Mommy Authority.

Jane was born into a large family, so she always figured that she would have many children of her own. And she did - she is the proud mom to 5 children (4 girls and one very lucky boy!). She has an incredibly supportive husband and has been able to juggle the joys of motherhood alongside her passion for writing. She is a self taught blogging enthusiast and loves nothing other than to share her tips, ideas and experience. When she has some spare time, she loves kite surfing, cooking and hiking.