PICK IT, PICK IT GOOD

Have you ever wondered if the things you do in private, such as picking your nose or popping your pimples, are normal? Dr. Mehmet Oz has set the record straight on what's normal and what's not when it comes to our personal hygiene.

How often do people pick their noses?
Dr. Oz says it's five times an hour! "I'm talking about just going to your nose, not trying to touch your brain," he said. The problem is that viruses live on your hands, and when your fingers enter your nostrils, you're transferring those viruses into your body. Your nose is like a petri dish with moist mucous membranes that are perfect for colonizing viruses. Dr. Oz's best advice? Whether you pick, scratch or just brush your nose with your fingers, try to keep your hands clean.

After you blow your nose, do you look inside the tissue?
Dr. Oz says smart people do this. Peering into the dirty tissue is a way of auditing what's going on inside your body. Snot says a lot. The big warning: If it's green, call a doctor. You're sick!

Do you pick your pimples?
One in five women do this, so it's very common. Still, Dr. Oz warns there is a right way and a wrong way to pop a zit. "Never squeeze a pimple," he says. "You're destroying all the tissue around [it]." Instead do this: Clean a needle with alcohol. Parallel to the skin, pierce the pimple from side to side and then rip up the needle. It won't hurt! There is no sensation there.

Do you skip brushing your teeth before bedtime?
43 percent of women say they don't brush their teeth before going to bed at night. Dr. Oz. says skipping this basic hygiene is a concern, since nighttime is the prime breeding time for bacteria. As your mouth dries out, bacteria invade your teeth. The problem isn't cavities as much as gingivitis, which is the top cause of tooth loss and can lead to other health problems, including heart attacks and strokes. "If you floss your teeth and it bleeds three times in a row, you probably have gingivitis," says Dr. Oz. His best advice? Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day -- in the morning and before bedtime.

Do you pass gas?
Of course you do. On average, both men and women pass gas about 14 times a day, says Dr. Oz. While you can't control that, you can control the odor. "Only about 5 percent of what you pass really has an odor if you're eating normal foods," he says. High-fiber foods do cause gas and bloating, but the result is odorless, while the chemicals in synthetic and packaged food cause the most stinky gas.

Do you sleep with underwear on or off?
Dr. Oz advises you to take it off. "You don't want it to be so moist down there. Let it dry out a little bit," he says. "Secondly, the underpants can abrade on your skin a little bit, which can cause pimples, and you don't want that."

Do you use protective paper covers in public bathrooms?
It won't hurt you, but it probably won't help much since toilet seats tend to be the cleanest part of the public restroom. Why? Someone is paid to clean the toilet and toilet seat. Where you should be careful is flushing the toilet. Use your feet to push the lever. Then wash your hands and use the paper towel you dried them with to cover the door handle on the way out.

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