Practicing good personal hygiene boosts your confidence and helps you stay healthy by preventing the spread of disease and illness. Although hygiene issues increase with the onset of puberty, proper hygiene practices should be practiced by those of all ages. By following a few simple steps each day, you can ensure that you remain clean, confident and live a healthier lifestyle.
While you may bathe daily, it is also important to keep your hands clean and washed throughout the day. Even though your hands may look clean and free of dirt, germs are continuously picked up from every object you come into contact with. Wash your hands regularly, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hands should always be washed before eating, meal preparation, removing or inserting contact lenses, administering medicine or attending to wounds of an ill person. Wash your hands after handling food, handling garbage or other soiled materials, blowing your nose, using the toilet, or caring for an injured or sick person. To properly wash your hands, wet them with warm water, apply soap and rub them together creating friction. Get between your fingers. Rub the undersides of the nails against the opposing palm to clean the nails. This process should last for at least 20 seconds. Rinse and dry with a clean paper towel, using a separate paper towel to turn off the faucet.
Brush your teeth daily to prevent cavities, tooth decay and bad breath. The American Dental Association recommends brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride at least twice a day. Check the toothpaste packaging to see whether the ADA has approved your toothpaste. To clean between the teeth, use dental floss to remove food and bacteria every time you brush. According to the ADA, your toothbrush should be replaced at least every three to four months or as soon as the bristles begin to look frayed.
Keep your fingernails clean and trimmed. The finger nails can create a breeding ground for dirt and bacteria when they are not properly cared for. To avoid the build-up of bacteria under the nails, use a nail brush to gently scrub under the nails each time you wash your hands. An orangewood stick can also be used to remove dirt from under the nails. To avoid having more space for bacteria to collect, keep the nails neatly cut down and filed. To keep the skin around the nails free of infection, trim away hangnails as they occur.