Hygiene is essentially how we keep our bodies clean and “sanitary.” The cleanliness aspect serves two functions. First, being clean is necessary to function socially. Other people, like adults, except that the people they are interacting with will be clean. No person is an island, so being able to deal with other people is an essential skill for teens and adults alike. Secondly, being clean allows us to be sanitary, mostly free of the germs that are harmful. Good hygiene then allows us to interact with other people and reduces our risk of catching a deadly disease.
Every teen should:
Shower or bathe every day or every other day
Wash hair daily or every other day
Use deodorant as needed
Brush teeth twice a day and floss
Wear clean socks and underwear every day
Although it is seen more commonly in the preteen years, sometimes teens will refuse to shower or bathe. First, it’s important to understand whether or not the reduced bathing is a problem for your teen or a problem for you. If you feel your teen should shower daily, but they think that every other day is fine and they are reasonably clean, perhaps agreeing to disagree would be a reasonable path. If they are not showering and are visibly dirty, smell bad, or are not getting along at school because of the situation, then it is a problem.