08/12/2010 11:21 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Children Risk Bullying From Bad Breath

No one is too young to experience bad breath. While the problem may have the most serious consequences for adults who are looking to succeed in a professional or romantic setting, children may experience significant setbacks due to the problem as well.

They may be more prone to teasing at school. The academic performance of children who are picked on tends to be worse. A recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine showed that victims of bullying risk mental health problems later in life.

In order to help children avoid some of these problems that may be caused by bad breath, oral health experts recommend that parents take their children to a dentist as early and as often as possible.

Early dental care may help children learn the importance of good oral hygiene. Developing habits at a young age may make it easier for them to continue to take care of their teeth as they grow older. While eliminating bad breath may not prevent all causes of bullying, it may help to reduce the chances of a problem occurring.

It's never too early to start teaching children about the importance of oral health. Gaurav Agarwal, a Winchester-based dentist, told the Northern Virginia Daily that parents ought to be bringing their children to see a dentist as soon as their teeth begin to erupt.

"There are quite a few general dentists that were trained to say that the first visit needs to be at age three, four, even five," he told the news source. "By then it's sometimes too late. I can show you [children two years of age] that I've had to extract 10 teeth out of 20 of their teeth."

A dentist may be able to recommend treatments that parents can give to their children, which may fix their bad breath problem. This could help reduce the chances of their child being bullied at school.

While it may seem like a superficial problem that children do not need to worry about, bad breath can have a serious impact on school performance and their social lives. Starting oral care early may help reduce the likelihood that children will experience bad breath problems. Additionally, specialty oral care products may help ensure that they will have fresh breath.