My kid is 3 years old. He has his teeth brushed twice a day (morning, after breakfast, and night, before bed). At night we also help him floss. When possible (since this task ranges from not-that-difficult to almost-impossible depending on the day and mood of the toddler) we also brush his tongue with the toothbrush.

I actually think that all parties involved are doing a great job. As difficult as brushing his teeth is, I think that this task is being done "as good as possible". Given the situation, I could not hope for more. Yet, in spite of all this, sometimes I can tell he has bad breath.

This makes me wonder if there is anything else that could/should be done. I understand that at age 3, trying to make him rinse is either a lost cause or even potentially dangerous.

Should I just deal with it, since it is probably not a big deal and there is not that much that can be done, or is there anything that could be done to help him improve his oral health even more?

  • 2
    Why did you reach the conclusion it is his oral health that is causing "bad breath"? At the next pediatrician visit, bring this issue up.
    – paulj
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 15:37
  • 1
    "Bad breath" has a range. I am not sure where you are in the range. Is this normal level bad breath or are you talking about something strong & off putting. Strong bad breath can indicate simple things like sinus issues even, so it can be non-teeth related. It's hard to say without more info on how bad we are talking here. Since you say sometimes you can tell...it sounds like you may just be talking typical stale breath, versus awful breath. All my kids have bad breath sometimes, even after brushing, its just not a thorough brushing.
    – threetimes
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 16:07
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    Regardless of the cause, bad breath in children that young should be discussed with a pediatrician. Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 20:55

1 Answer 1


As some of the comments have already stated, perhaps this is not an issue with bad breath originating in the oral cavity. This is no cause for immediate alarm but please bring it up with the child's doctor.

Bad breath can result from issues occurring from the stomach. You may notice that after a burp, breath stinks. This doesn't occur because of poor dental hygiene but rather from the digestive process occurring in the stomach. Perhaps the child is experiencing a little acid reflux or is having an issue with some of the food he has eaten.

Make a note of his diet and try to find relations to bad breath and things he has eaten. Once again, bring it up with the pediatrician.

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