Out of the Mouths of Babes-No-More

Baby’s breath. You know what I speak of: that sweet milk scent that you inhale while gazing into the eyes of your newborn, radiating innocent goodness. Then comes teeth, solid food, and the next thing you know, you’re sitting by your 5-year old and wondering where that stench of things dying is coming from.  And then you realize it’s HER MOUTH.

I guess I tend to romanticize things. When I was little, I always imagined each kiss with Prince Charming would be minty and fresh, and no one would snore or have stinky feet.  When I became a mother, I always imagined my children’s breath would smell of that innocent goodness, just as I imagined their bodies would always smell of fresh laundry, lavender, and baby powder. (HA.)

Despite regular brushing, The Husband and I have become quite alarmed at Elise’s stink breath. This is no ordinary morning breath. This is breath that would kill small woodland animals in closed spaces. More than once, one of us has uttered words to the effect of, “UGH! What is that rotten smell?” as we look in vain around the room for a source of stink rot like a morpse (mouse corpse-totally just coined that term) the cat dragged in, or something  else pertaining to said cat, before zeroing in on her mouth.

How could my offspring have such a smell emanating from her person? She’s only 5!

This was not just a vain concern-I mean, she’s healthy and happy and all that-but I worried of social stigmatization or some kind of medical issue.

We decided that we would be better about enforcing post-breakfast brushing (sometimes that would slip as we rush out the door to get to school on time), and to switch to mint toothpaste from those sweet cartoon concoctions that are powerless against her frighteningly potent mouth bacteria. This has helped a little. Then we added a fluoride rinse to the regimen…even better.

The end result is, I no longer freeze and stiffen when she comes close. Which is a breath of fresh air. Well, not really, but close enough. A breath of non-toxified air.

Hey, I’ll take it.


About Kate

Kate is mother to three exceptionally strong and solid offspring, "Elise" (b. 2005),"Luke" (b.2008), and "Emile" (b. 2011), who have successfully put her spine one hoist away from disc herniation. She lives in the Washington DC area and works in healthcare—which is convenient given the physical hazards of her mommy gig. Kate is deathly afraid of developing large nose pores and is very suspicious of squirrels. She hopes she will never, ever need to face these two fears simultaneously. She is a huge fan of eating, sleeping, and taking private showers. Kate yearns for the day when she will not have to follow any dependent being into the bathroom for quality control. She is also known for saying, "There's nothing that makes you feel like more of a tool than writing about yourself in third person."

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