We are commonly taught to wash your hands before & after using the bathroom, to prevent bacteria from spreading to different body parts. However, have you ever wondered how sanitary toilet paper actually is?
The truth being, toilet paper is clean but not sterile. Sterile meaning, TP may contain unwanted critters, and should never be used to dress a wound or clean a cut (anywhere on the body). Toilet paper is not held to the same quality standards as medical supply companies. Instead, these companies adhere to some of the same standards as newspaper outlets, or greeting card distributors.
Another type of toiletry hygiene product is reusable toilet paper, or aka “the family cloth”. These cloths are cotton material and washed after use, or after several days usage, and then recycled for the rest of the family.
DID YOU KNOW When you flush the toilet, tiny particles of water and bacteria enter the air and contaminate surfaces within approximately 6 feet. The most commonly contaminated surfaces are the toilet seat & toilet paper dispenser.
What is The Best Way to Wipe?
The direction of wiping is essential in maintaining good health & hygiene. Wiping incorrectly can lead to a urinary tract infection, which can be very irritating and painful. Always wipe Front to Back, and then discard toilet paper. Wiping in the wrong direction spreads small amounts of fecal matter from the anus to the urethra (hole pees comes out).
Additionally, it is very important to watch how rough you are when wiping. Being careful not to tear or irritate the soft sensitive tissue surrounding the anus.
Teaching Children to Wipe Properly
Things you need: Small children’s toilet, TP or Wet Wipes, Sense of Humor.
- Demonstrate the task in completion, identifying small steps with your child.
- Assist your child with cueing for each step, with hand over hand assistance, if required.
- Allow your child to complete the steps they are comfortable with, using close supervision.
- Make sure to teach female children to wipe front to back, preventing bacteria from causing problems.
- Teach your children the importance of wiping thoroughly and correct wiping procedures.
- Make sure to teach the importance of hand hygiene, making it a phone activity or game if necessary.
Signs you may need to speak with your children about hygiene may include; stains or fecal matter in underwear, & smell.
Toilet Paper vs. Bidet
Opinions on toilet paper vs. bidet use vary widely, mainly based on location & cultural background. Unfortunately in the standoff between the two, bidets are victorious in the battle of both cleanliness & eco friendliness. Bidets are more prevalent in Europe and Asia, but are slowly catching on around the globe.
Approximately 75% of all infectious disease is spread through human contact derived from poor hygiene. Bidets have proven to be more sanitary by eliminating toilet paper. Additionally, bidets have the ability to clean the anus more thoroughly than traditional means. Some models even have air dry capabilities. Showing a significantly diminished risk of spreading infectious bacteria
On average, Americans use approximately 100 Rolls of toilet paper each year. Then, combine that number with an additional 470 billion gallons of water wasted during toileting. Compare that to the average bidet water usage at only 1/8 of a gallon. Roughly equating to 32 bidet flushes, for every 1 regular toilet flush of water. Objectively bidets are superior.
How Much Time Should You Spend on Porcelain Throne?
A healthy person should avoid spending more than 10 minutes on the commode. This is because of the strain your body goes through. Straining increases the pressure in the blood vessels, in and around, the anus. When straining during a difficult bowel movement, the blood pressure goes up and may cause an increased medical risk.
A high number of people die each year on the commode? This happens when straining increases the blood pressure while also stimulating the vagus nerve, blocking blood, from returning to heart. Known as the “Valsalva Maneuver”, or to EMT’s as the “Commode Code”.
Top 3 Brands of Toilet Paper, Rated
- Charmin Ultra Soft
Customer Rating 5/5 Stars
- Industry leader in soft skin-sensitive TP.
- Plants Tree for Every Tree Cut
- Strong 2 ply. Twice the absorption using less.
- Septic safeP
2. Presto Ultra Soft
Customer Rating 5/5 Stars
- Each roll comes with money back guarantee.
- “Pulp from sustainably managed forest.”
- Stronger & better quality than Charmin some customers reported.
- Septic safe
3. Angelsoft 2Ply
Customer Rating 4.5/5 Stars
- Made with pulp fiber with no additives.
- 2 Ply strength with softness
- Household trusted brand
What is the Future of Toilet Paper?
Sometimes to understand the future, you’re required to understand the past. This video will help you understand what life was like before toilet paper.
So after over 150 years, where do we go from here? Will we keep wiping our bottoms, while other nations advance hygienically? Highly doubtful, toilet paper may be the next cigarette in terms of price, innovation, & competition.
Bidet’s aside, there is also a product on the market that is much more hygienic than traditional toilet paper, called MFTP (moist flushable toilet paper). This product claims to save water, energy, and increase hygiene. These are the only wipes that are septic safe, and will not backup your commode.
Analyzing Your Bowel Movements to Identify Problems
“You can tell a lot from your poop”
After finishing a bowel movement, always analyze your poop. Trust me, I know what you’re thinking, but this could save your life. I don’t suggest getting on your knees to sift through steaming poo, but I’m simply recommending taking a glance to analyze the following characteristics:
- Consistency– Look at your poo, is it hard or soft, liquid or solid?
- Color– Brown, green, red, black? The color of bowel can provide some knowledge of how healthy your gastric system is. Green may suggest the food was passed through the intestines quickly. Bright red could indicate hemorrhoids. Dark stool may be a warning of GI bleeding. A sign of low bile in the stool often can be pale or greyish color. The ideal color is brown or dark brown. Keep in mind, some food may temporarily change your stool color (eg. Fruity Pebbles, Antibiotics).
- Regularity- How often should you poop? Everyone is different, but we can take a baseline average. Normally people of a traditional healthy diet defecate 1-3 times per day. Factors that may influence this are; food intake levels, activity levels, health problems, non-traditional irritable foods (spicy, Cajun, Indian).
Below is the Bristol Stool Chart, with 7 identifiable categories. This is an easy tool for measuring gastro-intestinal health, by comparing your feces to the chart.