If you’ve been to the doctor lately, you are certainly aware of the rising costs of healthcare. Between the doctor’s fees, lab tests, and prescriptions, just one trip to the doctor can cost you hundreds of dollars. A trip to the emergency room is two or three times the expense of a doctor visit in most cases. Emergency dental care can also cost you hundreds of dollars, and even more if you have to repair or replace a tooth with a crown, bridge, or implant. By regularly engaging in strategies for good hygiene, you can avoid costly trips to the doctor or the emergency room, and you can prevent expensive procedures at the dentist’s office as well.
Washing your hands regularly is the easiest way to prevent common colds, influenza, and other contagious illnesses. If someone in your home or office has a contagious illness, that person is spreading germs all over the place, and you are going to come in contact with contaminated surfaces. Wash your hands regularly to prevent infection from contagious illnesses. A cold or flu doesn’t require medical treatment in most cases, but they can lead to a sinus or ear infection, which will cost you a trip to the doctor and some antibiotics.
Other more serious illnesses can also be avoided through proper hand washing. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly referred to as staph, resides on skin and in the noses of humans. If staph enters the body through the mouth, it can cause numerous problems, including pneumonia. Hand washing also rids your hands of chemical toxins that you may come in contact with when cleaning your house, along with salmonella bacteria in raw foods, such as eggs, poultry, and beef. Always wash your hands before, during, and after preparing foods, and wash your hands before you eat.
Regular bathing rids the body of bacteria, dirt, dead skin cells, and oil. While bacteria alone can cause problems if not washed off regularly, a buildup of dirt, skin cells, and oil can clog pores, causing pimples, boils, and cysts. Dead skin cells combined with oil can also clog the follicles of your scalp, causing dandruff and more serious scalp infections. Wash your feet regularly to remove dirt and sweat, which will prevent athlete’s foot and fungal infections of your toenails.
You should brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to prevent decay in your teeth as well as gum disease. The saliva in your mouth coats your teeth with a thin film of bacteria, known as plaque. Plaque can begin to eat away at the enamel, which protects your teeth, in your teeth in as few as twenty minutes. If you don’t brush your teeth to remove the plaque, the enamel is eaten away and the tooth begins to decay. When the plaque builds up at and under your gum line, the bacteria causes an infection that makes your gums irritated and sore. If not treated, the infection can worsen, becoming gum disease. Gum disease will cause your gums to recede from your teeth, and the bone and ligaments that hold your teeth in place can deteriorate, which can cause your teeth to become loose and even fall out. Flossing is important as well to remove food particles stuck in between teeth, and to remove plaque buildups between teeth that brushing can’t reach.