Impact of Personal Care & Hygiene Practices on Health

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

You've been told to wash your hands and clean your teeth, but do you really know why we bother doing this? In this lesson, you'll learn the importance and impact of hygiene on your health.

What Is Hygiene?

Growing up, you've probably been told countless times to brush your teeth twice a day and wash your hands after going to the bathroom. And if you didn't shower for a while, then you were probably also ushered into the bathroom to take a bath ASAP. The question is: why?

Well, in this lesson, we're going to take a look at the impact of all sorts of personal care and hygiene practices on your health. Hygiene, by the way, is basically the science of health.

Hands and Teeth

Let's start with those hands and teeth I mentioned before. Why do we wash our hands even if we didn't just come out of the washroom?

Well, your hands come into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes, and food quite a bit. A lot of the time, you don't even notice how you're rubbing your fingers around those areas. If the hands are dirty, meaning they are filled with microorganisms that may potentially cause disease, then you may cause:

  • A respiratory infection, like the cold or flu, if you rub hands full of respiratory viruses up against your nose
  • The stomach flu, if dirty hands transmit bad bacteria, viruses, or parasites onto the food you eat
  • An eye infection, by rubbing contaminated hands against your eyes
  • A skin rash, by simply having a lot of nasty microorganisms on your skin for too long

Not fun, right? Well, we try to avoid these not-so-fun things when brushing our teeth, too. Sure, we brush our teeth to keep our breath fresh so others don't run for the hills when we're talking to them. But what else?

Well, brushing your teeth helps to:

  • Prevent cavities and loss of teeth
  • Prevent painful and unsightly gum diseases that can lead to tooth loss

But you knew that. However, did you know that improper dental hygiene has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia? Yep. Seriously! It has been shown that good oral hygiene can help stave of trouble in the heart, brain, and body as a whole.

The Body and Clothing

Speaking of the body as a whole, we wash the entire body too. Why? Besides keeping bad BO at bay, we wash ourselves to:

  • Get rid of grime that may cause inflammation of our skin
  • Wash away dirt that may harbor pathogenic, or diseases-causing, organisms that can cause us all sorts of diseases

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account