In the modern world of today, it is a known fact that germs and bacteria cause illness and disease. It is also a known fact that dirty surfaces harbor these germs and bacteria. These are the premises that lead people to spend billions of dollars on cleaning products and health and beauty aids. There are general rules for cleanliness, starting with regular hand-washing.
History of Cleanliness
Most of the traditions of personal cleanliness for Western countries come from Judeo-Christian ideals sprouted from Jewish tradition. In Jewish tradition, observing cleanliness in all areas even extended to food, as seen in the kosher laws. Washing is a part of the religious culture of both Jews and Christians, and has impacted how Western society views cleanliness.
Washing your hands is the single most important rule in observing cleanliness. Our hands are exposed to more dirt, germs and bacteria than any other part of our body and they touch nearly everything put in and on our bodies. They carry millions of microbes and can pass infections, illness and disease to and from others. Completely washing the entire hand and nails with soap, followed by thorough rinsing and drying with a hand dryer or clean towel can prevent the spread of microbes.
Regular washing of the body and hair helps to prevent unpleasant body odor and parasites such as lice. Most people bathe or shower every day, but others may bathe more or less according to physical activity and time of year. Hair should be washed at least a few times a week, but daily washing is really only necessary for those who are very physically active or have very oily hair. Trimming of the finger and toenails helps to keep them clean.
Keeping clothes clean and free of dirt aids in keeping the body clean and odor-free. Clothes can pick up dirt, germs, bacteria and mold, as well as vermin and parasites, which can pass to the body. Follow the washing instructions for the particular garment to keep it in shape and looking its best.
The last rule for cleanliness is good oral hygiene. Poor dental habits cannot only damage your looks and cause bad odor, it can also seriously affect your overall health. Infections in the mouth can spread to other areas of the body and plaque that has built up on teeth can come loose and settle in the arteries, leading to heart disease. Proper brushing and flossing at least twice a day, both at night and in the morning, goes a long way in preventing most dental problems. Regular visits to the dentist can stop small problems from becoming major problems and will keep your mouth healthy. It is recommended that you get a checkup twice a year.
- Photo Credit "toe, faucet 1955" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: irina slutsky (irina slutsky) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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