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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Body Hygiene
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Keeping Hands Clean
- National Institutes of Health: Dental Care -- Adult
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Taking care of your body through good personal hygiene not only helps you present a outwardly groomed appearance, it's also good for your health. Across the world, hygiene habits have a direct correlation to illness and survival, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Throughout the day, your body comes into contact with dirt and bacteria. Incorporate hygiene practices that keep your body healthy and clean.
Washing your hands and keeping them clean is your first line of defense in protecting yourself from illnesses spread by other people through personal contact or contaminated surfaces. Wash your hands frequently, including after using the bathroom, when making or eating food, and after you touch your own nose or mouth. Wash your hands by wetting them, then soaping your fingers, the backs of your hands, around your nails and your palms. The CDC recommends washing your hands for 20 seconds. In a public restroom, turn off the faucet with a towel or your elbow. If you are unable to wash using soap and water, use a 60 percent alcohol-based sanitizer.
Whether your hair is long or short, keeping it clean makes it shine and helps you look healthy and well groomed. Being outdoors in the wind, sun and rain damages your hair and causes it to dry out. Wash your hair with a shampoo designed for your hair type, whether dry, fine, coarse or normal. Wash your hair every day if it tends to be oily, and less frequently if you have dry hair. Wet your hair thoroughly, pour a quarter to half-dollar sized dollop of shampoo in your palm and work the shampoo through your hair. Gently massage your scalp. Rinse thoroughly and apply a light conditioner.
Having healthy teeth helps you avoid expensive dental work, cavities, gum disease such as gingivitis, periodontal disease and bad breath. The National Institutes of Health reports that other problems such as preterm labor and heart disease may be aggravated by unhealthy teeth. Brush a minimum of two times a day using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums. Gently floss your teeth once a day, using the technique recommended by your dentist. Brushing your tongue helps remove bacteria and freshens your breath.
Keeping your body clean and smelling fresh by washing off visible and microscopic dirt and bacteria. Your skin covers your body and protects your organs from harm. Wash your entire body, from forehead to toes, with soap. Use an antibacterial soap for your body and a gentle facial soap for your face and neck. Use a clean washcloth to distribute the soap evenly over your body and rinse with clean water. Shower daily, or more often if you are exposed to chemicals or dirt. Wash under your arms and scrub your feet. Apply deodorant under your arms after you dry off.
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