Ask the Educator: “Hygiene”

Question: I don’t want to be mean, but why do some of these kids smell so bad?

I think many of us have been in a situation where we are near someone who may not smell pleasant. We often don’t talk about this issue because it seems awkward or rude. But that’s exactly what Ask an Educator is all about – talking about things we don’t normally talk about.

There are a few different causes for this, especially among young people. Some families cannot afford soaps, detergents, toothpaste, deodorants, and menstrual products. So young people in these families may be going without clean clothing or may lack the supplies to keep themselves clean and smelling fresh.

Add to this that youth living in unclean homes can pick up these smells. Smoking and animals that are not properly cared for can add to this smell.

But sometimes, young people just don’t know how to keep themselves clean. Hygiene, like everything else, has to be taught.

So what are the recommendations for keeping clean? These come right from the Wyman TOP Curriculum.TM


Brushing Teeth Brush teeth 2x a day for 2 minutes to prevent cavities

Flossing everyday can help prevent gum disease and bad breath

Deodorant/Antiperspirant Deodorant prevents body odor

Antiperspirant prevents sweating

This product is a personal choice but is often used in the USA

Tampons/Menstrual Pads Should be changed regularly (especially tampons which should be changed every 4-6 hours)
Washing Hands Hands pick up germs including bacteria and viruses, and can cause you and others to get sick

This is especially important after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before cooking

Regular Bathing Daily showers will keep your body clean and free of odor

It is important to clean areas including the genitals and underarms

Have questions about puberty, sexuality, health, and the teenage years? Submit your question at or by emailing me directly at