Hot answers tagged

53

Washing your hands with plain water of a normal temperature is significantly less able to effectively sanitise against bacteria, viruses, and many protozoa. The oil on your skin will hold pathogens pretty effectively. The detergent in the soap helps to break down the cell walls in some types of prokaryotes (bacteria) and eukaryotes (other living microbes) ...


45

Do we need to brush our teeth? Yes, there are health benefits from brushing your teeth. Done correctly, it reduces the incidence of caries and periodontitis. When you brush your teeth, you help remove plaque — a sticky film that forms on your teeth because of bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria in plaque causes the two major tooth-related diseases, ...


38

There are only three studies in PubMed that mention CrissCross bristle design explicitly. The first, authored by Oral-B Laboratories, finds that "comparisons with more than 80 leading manual toothbrushes from around the world demonstrate a consistent, significant advantage for the new CrossAction toothbrush, both with respect to interproximal penetration ...


30

According to research at UC-Davis, quite the opposite is true. The key finding: Our safety concern was that bacteria such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella, which might contaminate a work surface when raw meat was being prepared, ought not remain on the surface to contaminate other foods that might be eaten without further cooking. We soon ...


29

Washing your hands with plain water does reduce germs. It just does not remove as many of them as using soap would. Source: Same link as Michael, and sorry for the hijack -- I know this to be true from University (where I studied Biology), but could not have come up with an English language source ad-hoc. Handwashing with water alone reduced the ...


28

First of all: is it true that earwax (or cerumen) comes out naturally from the ear? Yes it is. The purpose of ear wax is to trap particles that may enter the ear from the outside, and bring them out of the ear canal. From S. Gelfand - Essentials of audiology Cerumen is a waxy substance that is supposed to be in the ear canal, where it serves ...


24

This claim is from a time when refrigerators weren't nearly as efficient as today. By waiting for food to cool down on the counter, it will stay much longer inside the dangerous threshold (5-60ºC, 40-140ºF). If you put it in the fridge immediately, it will cool down to <5º much faster. It won't raise the temperature in your fridge unless it's a 50x50cm ...


21

This graph (PDF) shows how long it takes to scald (burn) someone's skin with water with time on the X axis and temperature on the Y axis. At 100°C scalding is instant. At 60°C it takes closer to five seconds. If you were being scalded you would know RIGHT AWAY. The University of Utah's burn center recommends that people with small children/elderly/people ...


20

Cleaning your hands The UK NHS has a write up of a 2012 review of the evidence in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. They note that the papers reviewed reported different results, probably due to factors such as the type of hand drier and washing and drying techniques. The review concludes: Most studies have found that paper towels can dry hands efficiently, ...


19

The beneficial strain of E. coli K-12 has a negative ORP. Therefore, the original claim cannot be universally true. Furthermore, E. coli is a facultative anaerobe, which means it can survive in both oxygenated and oxygen-free environments. Since some strains of E. coli are pathogens, this means that the claims elsewhere in that document that oxygen kills ...


18

Without washing your hands after going to the toilet, you are running the risk of E. coli enteritis. E-Coli can lead to severe illness or even death. Keep in mind, every time you flush the toilet that a plume of water droplets can spread by up to a couple of metres, coating tooth brushes and such in contaminant. This is also backed up here. In response to ...


18

The following is data for "tissue paper products ", which include: toilet paper handkerchiefs & facials napkins paper towels From RISI: Per capita consumption of tissue (2007): Approximately two-thirds of US tissue consumption is in the consumer sector, or At-Home, while the rest (32%) is in the AfH (Away-from-Home) sector. AfH ...


18

I am addressing the cited claim (not the different form stated at the top of the question) Do not mix raw and boiled water! Grandma was right. Just why mixing of boiled and raw water leads to a rapid emptying of the bowel, the science cannot explain yet. But the fact is obvious. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend that water be raised to a ...


16

The only information I could find on using shampoo too often being bad for your hair is the sebum (oil) produced by the sebaceous gland. http://thebeautybrains.com/2010/01/28/can-you-train-your-hair-to-be-less-oily/ When you ask if your hair can get used to not being washed you’re implying that leaving oil on your hair will somehow stop the production of ...


15

According to Michael Sesemann (president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry 2009-2010): Brushing should last at least two minutes. Three minutes is even better. It's an arbitrary number, but it's just so people take the time to clean all the surfaces. The American Dental Association recommends: Brush your teeth twice a day... but ...


15

According to Elemental concentrations and metal bioaccessibility in UK household dust Science of the Total Environment vol. 371, pages 74–81. Household dust has many internal and external sources, including garden soil, road dust, human hair and skin, carpet and clothing fibres, paint chips and fungi, resulting in a heterogeneous matrix of organic matter ...


15

As pointed out by @KonradRudolph, this is only a partial answer. It addresses sexually-transmitted diseases, but not others. It needs further additions or a companion answer to properly address the question. Before we can point to the evidence that covers help, we need some evidence that there is any problem to solve. In a Salon article, Mary Roach ...


14

Summary In the US and Canada, if you buy wipes which say "Flushable" on the package, you normally should never flush them. (Source.) If you do, they may clog your pipes or your local sewer / septic system. And a sewer clog may cause sewage to seep into your basement. (Source.) Instead of flushing wipes down the toilet, you can use unscented baby wipes. ...


14

There's a study here from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health website (Lukasik J, et al) entitled "Reduction of poliovirus 1, bacteriophages, Salmonella montevideo, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on strawberries by physical and disinfectant washes." This study describes the anti-bacterial effects of a "vinegar wash". Apparently ...


14

It would be important to note first the cultural difference between bathing in Malaysia and Indonesia, and the western world. In both countries, the most common form of bathing is through mandi, which utilizes a ladle water system (http://www.webcitation.org/5x2caStUE). The primary area to note in reference to the use of mandi rather than the typical ...


13

Bottom line: It doesn't matter if you floss before or after brushing your teeth. This question has been debated endlessly within the dental community. On this site it is really hard to conclude which one is better due to many different papers like you cited and many different points of views from dentists and professionals. I will cite one answer only ...


13

This 2015 study, Bactericidal effects of triclosan in soap both in vitro and in vivo, suggests the most popular active ingredient, triclosan, had no effect for exposures commensurate with hand-washing: RESULTS: There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in bactericidal activity between plain soap and antibacterial soap at either test temperature....


12

In 2005, a study was done comparing a number of hand drying methods: Yamamoto Y, Ugai K, Takahashi Y. Efficiency of hand drying for removing bacteria from washed hands: comparison of paper towel drying with warm air drying. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2005;26(3):316–20. The abstract explains the study supports the use of UV light on hand dryers: Log ...


11

According them them, their 4 essential oils are Eucalyptol Menthol Methyl salicylate Thymol Menthol, Thymol and Eucalyptol do have known antibacterial effects. I'm having difficulty finding anything specifically on Methyl salicylate (wintergreen oil), but their claims of efficacy against plaque seem plausible. Additionally, a Japanese study comparing ...


11

TLDR; We don't really know. WebMD has a good summary of the current state of science on this topic: One of the most publicized and controversial theories concerns aluminum, which became a suspect in Alzheimer's disease when researchers found traces of this metal in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Many studies since then have either not ...


11

Pathogens create a waste material that is poisonous to the body. The more common definition of pathogen is that it does harm to its host - see abstract of this interesting looking paper "What is a pathogen?" which notes that "pathogen" is mutually defined with "host" - a pathogen for one organism may be innocuous or even beneficial to another. Similarly the ...


11

Short answer: no Longer answer: yes, but in a cleverly limited way http://www.nycoproducts.com/news/what-does-the-phrase-kills-99-9-of-germs-really-mean/ Many of these products have marketing statements that say the product “kills 99.9% of germs*.” However, somewhere on the container in small print is the list of germs it actually kills, and this list ...


10

While it is nearly impossible to carry out an experiment on whether hand sanitiser usage will cause the immune system to misfire/fail, there have indeed been peer-reviewed experiments carried out on the fact that significant reduction in exposure to infections/antigens (a likely result of overuse of hand sanitisers) may result in a hampered immune system, ...


10

Summary: A. Using fluoridated toothpaste in both children and adults reduces the risk of dental caries. B. Fluoridated toothpaste increases the risk of dental fluorosis only when children 8 years old or younger swallow it, in which case fluoride is absorbed, enters the blood and from there the teeth. Fluoride in children in adults does not enter the teeth ...


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