Personal hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing your teeth and washing your hands will keep illnesses, viruses and bacteria at bay. There are also mental benefits as well as physical benefits. An integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Illinois – Donald Novey, MD – notes that practicing good personal hygiene helps you feel good about yourself. Individuals with poor hygiene (bad breath, body odor, missing teeth, disheveled hair and clothes, etc) are frequently viewed as unhealthy and may face discrimination.
In order to minimize risk of infection and enhance general health, one should follow these basic good personal hygiene practices:
Wash your hair and body often. Dr Novey remarked that it does not necessarily mean that one needs to shower or bathe every day, but one should clean their body and shampoo their hair at regular intervals that work for them. Novey explained that the body is constantly shedding skin, and that skin needs to come off, otherwise it may result in the skin caking-up and causing illness.
Trim your nails
Maintaining trimmed finger and toe nails in good shape will prevent issues such as infected nail beds and hang nails. Feet that are dry and clean are less likely to contract athlete’s foot.
Brush and floss
Preferably, you should brush your teeth after every meal. If you are unable to do that, at the very least you should brush twice a day and floss daily. Brushing reduces the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth, which can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing also helps maintain healthy, strong gums. Dr Novey explains that the bacteria that cause gum disease can travel straight to the heart and result in very serious valve problems. Unhealthy gums can also result in loose teeth, which make it hard to chew and eat properly. To keep a healthy smile, you should visit the dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings.
Wash your hands
Washing your hands after going to the bathroom, before preparing or eating food, after handling garbage, and after coughing or sneezing goes a long way in preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria. Keep hygiene products, like an alcohol-based sanitizing gel, at hand for when water and soap are unavailable.
Get plenty of sleep
8 to 10 hours each night – so that you are ready and refreshed to take on the day every morning. Lack of sleep can result in you feeling run down and can negatively affect your body’s natural defenses, that is your immune system.
Poor hygiene suggests other issues
If someone you know appears unkempt or hasn’t bathed, it may be a sign that he or she is depressed. Dr Novey says that when people are depressed or sad, they neglect themselves. Be candid but understanding and sensitive in your discussions. Your friend or loved one may need professional help, despite your best efforts. You should encourage them to see a doctor or counselor if their personal hygiene does not improve.
Good personal hygiene habits help keeps you healthy
For the majority of people, good personal hygiene is a big part of their daily routines that they don’t think much about it. They do all the above mentioned points. To keep those you care about safe and healthy, help them learn, and ensure that they are practicing good personal hygiene.