Thank to everyone who responded to the recent Mommy Advice Needed post regarding Little Chica's random and disturbing halitosis.
I took almost all of your advice (and read the articles that were sent my way), and the problem seems to be resolved! Huzzah!
Here are the steps I took:
1) Brushed her teeth twice a day
2) Brushed her tongue (so many people mentioned this!)
3) Sanitized all of her pacifiers
4) Upped her liquid intake
Here are the reasons I took these steps:
1) Brushing of teeth/tongue. This is somewhat obvious - getting rid of food and bacteria that can cause bad breath and tooth decay
2) Sanitizing Pacifiers: one of the articles mentioned that if pacifiers are not properly sanitized OFTEN, they can get bacteria build up on them, and cause bad breath in babies. Ok. Here is a confession. I, like, never wash Little Chica's pacifiers. DON'T JUDGE ME. I just...forget. And, she only uses them to sleep, so it slips my mind. I promise to do better next time. Please hold me accountable. Or help me get Little Chica to give up the paci.
3) Increasing liquids. I think this one was KEY. The second article (as well as my doctor, surprisingly) mentioned (in a little more detail) that dehydration can lead to bad breath. I'm not sure of the science behind it. BUT (and I'm about to get slightly graphic here - so if you don't like talking about poop, stop reading now), Little Chica had been constipated for a few days. One time I opened up her diaper, and I was convinced that either 1) she had secretly filled her diaper with smooth rocks from the bottom of a river or 2) she was charging a meticulous rabbit rent in some twisted diaper-sharing co-op . I felt so bad that those poor little poop pebbles had come from her precious hiney. I couldn't bear the thought. When I think back on it, the bad breath started right around the same time as the constipation. So, although it took a few days (and a lot of water. And fruit. And juice - which I normally never give Little Chica), her poops became the perfect consistency once again. And, surprisingly,
her breath made a turn around. Who knew?
One happy, well-hydrated, perfect poop-making, 18-month girl with impeccable breath.
My only remaining dental complaint? I wish some toothpaste companies made toddler/children's toothpaste in minty flavors. I know that the berry/bubblegum flavors taste good. But I wonder if they at all contribute to an after-odor that is less than pleasurable?
Does anyone have a good (possibly natural?) toddler toothpaste recommendation?
Thanks again, everyone!