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Areas of Hygiene
Dental hygiene (sometimes called oral hygiene) is the practice of keeping the mouth, teeth and breath clean. The process of brushing your teeth
will remove dental plaque
. Dental plaque is a yellowish, sticky film that covers the tooth and gums. It is filled with bacteria that try to attach themselves to the teeth and then they eat away at the enamel of the teeth which in turn creates cavities. If the teeth are not brushed on a regular basis, the plaque hardens and becomes tartar. If the tartar is not removed it can create gum disease, tooth decay and gingivitis. Tooth decay
is the most common global disease.
Besides brushing, it is important to floss
as brushing alone cannot get to the food that finds its way between the teeth. If the food remains between the teeth it may result in gum disease, receding gums and bad breath.
A final step that most people seem to forget is the cleaning of the tongue
. After eating, the tongue becomes coated with bacteria, decaying food particles, fungi and dead cells. By scraping the tongue or brushing it with a toothbrush, the film, bacteria and fungi are removed and will help to prevent bad breath.
Ideally, brushing, flossing and cleaning the tongue should be performed between 3 to 5 times every day.
Personal hygiene involves creating and maintaining a daily grooming practice to help diminish the negative effects caused by germs
are microscopic living organisms that cause diseases. There are four major types of germs. These include bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa.
are one-celled creatures that get nutrients from their environments in order to live. They can survive inside and outside of the body.
are germs that can only survive inside of a host. Their lifespan is relatively short but can cause a lot of damage. It is a virus that causes chickenpox, the flu and the measles.
are multi-celled organisms that love to live and grow in damp, warm places such as between the toes or under the toenails and fingernails.
are another one-celled organism that also loves moisture. They spread diseases through water and cause intestinal infections, nausea and belly pain.
To prevent the effects of germs, good daily hygienic practices and routines should be developed. Among those daily practices are:
(a) Hand Washing:
Washing the hands frequently can reduce illness. All day long your hands are in contact with objects all around you. Doorknobs, desks, writing utensils, animals, money, other people, really, the list can go on and on. Each thing that is touched can be covered in a multitude of germs. If you then bring your hand up to your mouth, nose or eyes, those germs can be transferred and taken into the body causing illness. Sneezing, coughing and blowing your nose all involve bringing your hands to your face but this can also affect those around you so it is important to cover or shield your face from others so as to not spread germs. Then you need to go wash your own hands before touching the surface of any object.
If the hair is not washed on a regular basis (weekly or bi-weekly at the least), diseases and parasites can occur on the scalp. Dandruff can also occur because of an incessant dirty scalp. In addition, head lice like unclean hair and it makes a rich environment for them to lay their thousands of eggs. Head lice are more likely to jump from one dirty head of hair to another than from dirty hair to clean hair. It is not a sure thing but by keeping your hair clean and brushed often you have a better chance of avoiding this unwanted pest plus you can avoid head ulcers and oily scalp.
(c) Fingernails and Toenails:
Dirt and germs just love to burrow under nails, both fingernails and toenails. If they get in deep enough, they can cause all kinds of havoc making the nails overly thick or very brittle and they can turn the nails yellow or cause streaking. In more severe cases, they can cause the nails to rot off entirely. This rather leads back to hand washing as the germs under the nails are deposited on the surfaces of objects. When you touch the object, they like to hitch a ride onto a new host. So if you keep your own nails clean – you won’t be the person spreading the unhappiness to others.
Dirt and germs like to locate every crease and crevice of the skin on the body. Simply jumping in a tub or a shower and quickly running a facecloth over the body and then quickly jumping out, isn’t going to do the trick. You would be surprised to know just how many people never think to scrub (yes scrub) between their toes. The toes provide a great hibernation point for bacteria and fungus such as athlete’s foot that can be spread to others by simply walking barefoot on the floor.
(e) Clothes washing:
You would think that this doesn’t even need to be mentioned – right? Well how many times have you put on a dirty shirt or a dirty pair of pants and thought, “No one will know the difference” and so on they go. Those dirty clothes are filled with growing numbers of germs, flaked dead body skin, dust mites and a hundred other things. Clothes should be washed after every wearing.
By developing good hygiene while you are young, you will be able to become a far healthier adult.
So now let’s test what you know about hygiene. Read each question below and see if you can find the right answers.