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What is Personal Hygiene?

By Nat Robinson
Updated Mar 06, 2024
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Personal hygiene is the collection of practices a person habitually performs to maintain good health. Hygiene plays an important role in looking and feeling physically and emotionally well. Good hygiene practices can not only protect individual health, but the health of all people a person may come into contact with. For instance, viruses and bacteria are commonly spread amongst people due to poor hygiene. Children are commonly taught about personal hygiene at a young age so routine practices may develop early in life.

Hand washing is one of the most necessary practices of personal hygiene. The hands are a very common carrier of various types of germs. This is generally because people use their hands to do most things. Germs can easily be passed into the body by touching the eyes, ears or mouth with a germ-containing hand. This can not only lead to personal illness, but can make any other person who touches the contaminated hand sick as well.

Maintaining total body cleanliness is equally important for good personal hygiene. This is typically accomplished by taking frequent baths and showers. Frequent washing can prevent body odor and enforce overall skin health. Most people incorporate a wide variety of hygiene products to handle their personal cleaning needs. Examples of commonly used products include soap, body washes, deodorant and fragrant body sprays.

Most people spend a great amount of time attending to oral hygiene. Ensuring good oral health is essential to general health. One of the most commonly used practices for personal oral hygiene is teeth brushing and flossing. The teeth should ideally be brushed and flossed twice each day. This will keep the teeth feeling and looking healthy and, along with mouthwash, prevent offensive breath odor.

A great deal of personal hygiene is done to maintain a certain physical appearance. Individual looks are generally important to most people. For this reason, personal grooming is a very important practice in keeping a presentable appearance. The grooming aspect of hygiene will generally incorporate several acts such as hair washing, combing and cutting as needed. Grooming may also entail clipping and cleaning the fingernails and toenails as well.

An individual may confirm that he or she is providing the best personal hygiene for him or herself by seeing a doctor for periodic checkups. This will also present an opportunity to ask the doctor any questions about how to improve certain areas of hygiene. Breath odor can be a problem commonly attributed to individual hygiene, but may in fact stem from a medical issue. Seeing a doctor for an issue such as this could get a clinical diagnosis and a cure for the problem.

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Discussion Comments

By cafe41 — On Mar 20, 2011

@Cupcake15 - I agree and I think that children's personal hygiene should be worked into a schedule so that they can automatically develop these habits without even realizing it.

For example, they should brush their teeth in the morning and before bed, and should shower before dinner. With these habits alone children will learn to get used to excellent personal hygiene habits and will feel odd if one day they forget to take a bath or brush their teeth.

Also, they should have a laundry basket in their room so that they can place their dirty clothes in the hamper and not back in their drawers or worse on their bodies. These personal hygiene tips only take a few weeks to develop and this way your children will never develop poor personal hygiene.

By cupcake15 — On Mar 19, 2011

I think that personal hygiene tips really should include daily bathing, the use of deodorant and mouthwash. It is important to brush your teeth between meals and floss your teeth daily because food can remain behind your teeth and bacteria can develop that can cause bad breath along with cavities.

I think if you also use mouthwash it can make sure that all of the bacteria are removed from your mouth because brushing your teeth alone is really not enough.

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