bad breath

Most of us are concerned about the look of our smile. After all, our first impressions of others often come down to appearance. But even if you have straight, white teeth, there may be other dental issues that could derail your personal aspirations.

If, for instance, your teen is experiencing persistent bad breath, this might have a profound impact on their social interactions. Although it might not be the most comfortable subject to address, it’s important that parents help teens discover the source of halitosis so they can take steps to remedy the issue. In the end, no one wants to alienate their friends or diminish their romantic prospects due to foul-smelling breath.

In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at the most common issues that lead to these unpleasant odors and how teens can fix or avoid the problem altogether.

Common Causes of Bad Breath in Teens

Ultimately, the most common causes of halitosis in teens are the same ones that adults often face. These prevalent causes include:

  • Diet: Of course, certain foods can result in bad breath. Spices, garlic, onions, coffee, and other foods are known to cause bad breath; in many cases, even brushing and flossing won’t completely get rid of the odor.
  • Smoking: Although one would hope that your teen doesn’t smoke or use tobacco products, these habits can certainly have a profound impact on oral health. Nicotine and tobacco products can cause dry mouth, which can then lead to more odorous breath. It can also lead to the buildup of tar, which can make the problem even worse.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Oral hygiene and teenagers don’t always go together under the best of conditions. But if proper teen dental care isn’t practiced at home, bad breath can easily develop. Failing to floss and brush frequently or thoroughly enough can cause food particles to remain in the mouth; this can cause plaque to form and lead to issues like gum disease and halitosis. If your teen focuses on their oral health habits, they can prohibit bacteria from growing and nip the problem in the bud.
  • Medical or Dental Conditions: In some cases, halitosis may be a result of an underlying health condition. Infections in the mouth, gum disease, sinus inflammation, gastric reflux, diabetes, or even kidney and liver diseases can lead to persistent halitosis. If your teen has improved their oral hygiene and overhauled their diet but their problem hasn’t improved, you may want to make an appointment with their dentist or personal physician to look into other causes.

How Regular Dental Visits Can Prevent Halitosis

Maintaining proper dental care at home can be a great way to prevent both foul-smelling breath and concerns like cavities and gum disease. But it’s not a replacement for routine teeth cleanings and exams performed by their dentist. A recent CDC report found that 19% of children aged two to 19 have untreated dental caries (or cavities) — and if your teen has unaddressed cavities, they may not be receiving the regular care and treatment they need to promote excellent oral health.

Whether your teenager is currently having issues with halitosis or you simply want to ensure that their oral hygiene won’t hold them back from important opportunities, it’s essential to schedule dental check-ups twice a year. This can ensure that their oral health stays on track throughout their teenage years and that they’ll have a strong foundation of dental hygiene to refer to during adulthood. In other words, dental visits will set your teen up for success.

For more information on making an appointment for your teen or how we can help to address common dental concerns, please contact us today.

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