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4 Tips for Better Personal Hygiene

Most people think they’re fairly clean and hygienic. But the reality is that most people frequently forgo even the most basic personal hygiene practices. 

If you want to look, feel, and smell cleaner, it’s important that you learn to adapt.

4 Specific Ways to Improve Your Hygiene

Aside from the obvious benefits of smelling good and looking put-together, personal hygiene is important for one very specific reason: It wards off pesky infections that spread via contact. Poor hygiene increases the likelihood (and accelerates the severity) of bacterial, food-borne infections, respiratory infections, ringworm, fungal infections (like athlete’s foot), viral infections (like the common cold and COVID-19), scabies, tooth decay, head lice, body lice, and threadworm.

The good news is that modern research and medicine have clearly displayed the effectiveness of various personal hygiene techniques to reduce and prevent most of the issues listed above. 

If you’re interested in looking better, feeling stronger, smelling better, and staying healthier, here are several habits we recommend integrating into your lifestyle:

1. Brush, Floss, and Do This

Everyone knows that brushing and flossing on a daily basis are important. But if you really want a clean mouth with fresh breath, you should also be scraping your tongue.

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Your tongue is a magnet for bacteria, food, and plaque. You can think of it like the “carpet” of your mouth. The surface of the tongue traps everything.

“Brushing is OK to do, but think about it this way — if your carpet is dirty and you scrub it, the dirt’s going to get embedded down in there,” dental hygienist Tenika Patterson explains. “But if you scrape it, it’s going to come right off the surface.”

Tongue scraping might sound painful, but it’s actually very simple, quick, and effortless. You can purchase a tongue scraping device made from plastic or stainless steel for less than $10. Place the grooved section of the scraper on the back of your tongue and scrape forward (rinsing under the water after each pass). Do this at least once per day and you’ll have fresher breath and better oral hygiene.

2. Wash Daily

Bathing or showering daily is important for a number of reasons. Aside from smelling better, it’s also an important part of helping your body unload dead skin cells, bacteria, sweat, and grime that’s built up over the course of the day. We recommend using a gentle soap and loofah to clean your body. 

While washing once per day is healthy, overwashing can actually have a negative impact on your health and hygiene by destroying the helpful bacteria in your skin microbiome. It can also strip away the oils that naturally keep your skin looking smooth and fresh.

3. Use a Bidet

Most Americans are naturally skeptical of bidets. After all, it’s not something that’s customarily used here in the United States. But did you know that it’s actually far healthier than using toilet paper? This is true for a couple of reasons.

First off, according to BidetMate, “Regular bidet use can lead to fewer rashes, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections, and other unpleasant health issues.”

Secondly, the use of a bidet prevents unnecessary contact between your hands and your underside. This reduces the transmission of bacteria and keeps your hands and bathroom cleaner.

4. Wash Your Bed Sheets Regularly

The average person spends 49 to 60 hours per week sleeping in their bed. That’s 49 to 60 hours of skin contact with your sheets, allowing sweat, oil, dirt, and other gunk to build up on your bedding.

“Proper hygiene is important in all areas of life. When it comes to our bedding, it’s perhaps more important than you might think,” Sleep Foundation explains. “Without regular cleaning, dirty sheets can contribute to allergies, skin breakouts, asthma, and more.”

It obviously depends on various factors, most people should wash their sheets once per week. However, if you have pets sleeping in your bed with you and/or you experience allergies or asthma, changing sheets every three to four days is preferred.

Take Control Over Your Hygiene

You might already be doing a lot of these things on a regular basis. (If so, give yourself a pat on the back!) But if you’re not, let this be your wakeup call. Your health and hygiene matter. Prioritize keeping yourself clean and your life will be easier!

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