Guest post contributed by Hannah Whittenly
Whether we like to admit or not, we all have unhealthy and unhygienic habits. While some of these habits are relatively harmless, others will increase your risk of serious medical issues if you aren’t careful. Many things you do throughout the day could be spreading germs, compromising your immune system, and even damaging your teeth. Here is a look at four bad habits that many adults struggle with and a few steps you can take to avoid them.
Not Washing Your Hands
According to one study published in The Lancet, over one million deaths a year could be prevented if everyone routinely washed their hands. You come into contact with billions of germs every single day, and you will eventually transmit those germs to your eyes, nose, and mouth if you don’t clean your hands. While it might be tempting to use antibacterial soap, most studies are now showing us that regular soap and warm water are just as effective. If you don’t have access to clean water and soap, then you should start carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with you everywhere you go. These small bottles are perfect for killing germs after shaking hands or touching public objects such as doorknobs.
Rarely Changing Your Sheets
It is an unfortunate fact that many people go months without washing their sheets, blankets, and pillowcases. While you are sleeping, millions of skin and hair cells will fall off your body and cling to the sheets. Over the course of a few weeks, those cells will become a source of food for nearby bacteria. As a general rule, you should try to wash all of your linens at least once every few weeks. While that might sound like a lot of work, it will reduce your risk of many different issues including severe allergies, respiratory infections, and rashes. Those who are sick need to wash their linens as often as possible to prevent the germs from spreading. You should also consider replacing your pillowcases entirely after a serious illness.
Forgetting to Brush and Floss
Tooth decay is the most common chronic health condition in the world, and almost every single person will develop at least one cavity in their lifetime. Recent studies have shown us that failing to brush at least twice a day can increase your risk of tooth decay by as much as 33 percent. You need to floss and use antibacterial mouthwash at least twice a day as well. In addition to your daily hygiene habits, you must also schedule annual or bi-annual appointments with a clinic that provides dental care in Riverbank or wherever you may live. Preventative dental care is more effective than ever, and your dentist can help you come up with a comprehensive plan to protect your teeth and gums.
Nail biting is a common nervous habit, and many people believe that it is completely harmless. While biting your nails will rarely cause any immediate health issues, it can still be quite unhealthy. Germs from all over become stuck under your nails, and that bacteria is going to immediately enter your system as soon as you start biting your nails. Studies have shown us that nail-biting also damages your teeth. Teeth aren’t designed to constantly chew through hard substances such as nails, and the enamel will eventually become worn if you don’t stop this habit.
Even though medications and medical procedures are more effective than ever, you can avoid a myriad of health problems with the proper habits. In addition to these four tips, you also need to schedule a few checkups every year to make sure that all of your bases are covered. Regular checkups with doctors, dentists, and optometrists will allow you to catch minor health complications before they become major issues.