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How Does Teen Hygiene Affect Their Lives?

by Kristen Berry, studioD

Teens who take care of themselves with good hygiene not only look better, but also open new doors for themselves in terms of opportunity and acceptance among peers. Having good hygiene affects every aspect of a teen's life -- from dating and making friends to staying healthy and making a good impression on adults. Conversely, poor hygiene can cause health and social issues that are difficult to overcome. According the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, good basic personal hygiene and handwashing are critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease.

Oral Hygiene

Teens who take care of their teeth have fewer cavities, fresh breath and healthier teeth. The pleasant effects of appropriate hygiene are well-received in social, dating and employment settings. According to Dr. Thomas and Dr. Chappel at Hilltop Dentistry in Missouri, the early teen years are typically the time when good hygiene habits are at their worst. Most teenagers don't take care of their teeth the way they should. In fact, 80 percent of cases of tooth decay in the United States are found in teenagers. Dental visits can become costly and inconvenient for teens and their families.

Body Care

A clean body means less odor and skin problems. Taking regular showers or baths results in healthy skin with a clean, pleasant scent. According to the Nemours Foundation for Teen's Health, puberty causes many changes in a teen's body, causing skin and scalp to become oily very easily. While these changes are normal, they can cause anxiety and excessive self-consciousness. Wearing deodorant and taking regular showers goes a long way in boosting self-confidence and social acceptance.


Greasy, dirty hair is visually offensive and can often carry an unpleasant odor, especially if your teen is involved in sports. Inadequate haircare can often be the brunt of jokes against some teens who disregard haircare as an essential part of their regular hygiene routine. Regularly washed hair is aesthetically attractive and keeps dandruff from forming.


Many teens go through a stage when skin is marked with acne or blemishes. This can cause extreme anxiety and insecurity. Daily skincare is a must for keeping skin from becoming excessively oily and acne-prone. Teens who have kept a regular skincare schedule are often frustrated with persistent acne problems. A visit to the dermatologist can alleviate the social and aesthetic discomforts of acne. According to Teen's Health, skin problems can seem unmanageable for teens with acne. The affects of poor skincare on a teen's social life can also cause depression. However, maintaining an effective skincare plan reduces and often eliminates anxiety.

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Kristen Noelle has been writing since 2007. Her work has appeared in AOL News, "Mothering Magazine," "Maui News," "Christian Science Monitor," "Forsyth County News" and the "Forsyth Herald." Noelle studies comparative literature at the University of Georgia.

Photo Credits

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