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So, I have been thinking of things people have to do regularly that (presumably) witches and wizards will also deal with.

  • Do they use toilet paper after going to the toilet? There are bathrooms but I don't recall mention of toilet paper.
  • Do they use tampons/pads? Presumably they still get their period.
  • Do they brush their teeth, floss, or use toothpicks? I don't think there are any dentists (as I recall, wizards seem to be confused by Hermione's parents' occupation). So if they do, what is the point? What would happen if they didn't do these things?
  • Do they use birth control? I'm assuming they wouldn't use pharmaceuticals...
  • Do they have insurance? We need car insurance and health insurance and so on. Is there such a thing for witches and wizards? I would hope so...
  • Do they get "regular" sick (Alzheimer's, Huntington's, AIDS/HIV, Cancer, Diabetes, Malaria)? I think there have been references to colds or the flu, but what about more serious non-magical ailments? Would St. Mungo's be able to cure cancer?

EDIT

I'll take the answer that in general we can only speculate, though some things I asked are covered or at least hinted at. Bonus points for the bit about the utensils x) I wasn't suggesting there's a "magical" solution for everything (though wingardium leviosa might do for eating no?)

Totally forgot about Hermione's teeth: Why does the Weasleys' clock have a dentist setting? Thanks to b_jonas for the link.

I guess this will do for toiletries and such (other than toothbrushes/toothpaste which are mentioned): Nobody Poops (TV Tropes). Thanks to calccrypto for that one.

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    How many books/movies have you seen that mention toilet paper? – Misha R Oct 26 '14 at 5:31
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    It's highly unlikely that wizards would need to use tampons. Witches, are a different matter. – Valorum Oct 26 '14 at 9:44
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    @Richard - to quote my favorite line from DayWatch novel (when they magically swapped the protagonist and his female friends into each others' bodies): "Like any modern man, I know perfectly well how to use the pads! You pour strange blue liquid on them, and then squeeze them in your hand to show that none leaks out!" – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 26 '14 at 10:23
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    @DVK - Honeydukes sells something called "Toothflossing Stringmints", which Hermione says her parents (the dentists) would approve of. Do you think that would count as wizarding floss? The reference is in PoA. – Slytherincess Oct 29 '14 at 23:21
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Harry wears glasses. Many wizarding characters in the series wear glasses. It's a stretch to suggest there is a magical implementation of every single thing in the world.

I see no reason why the wizarding world wouldn't partake of generic helpful items, Muggle or not, to care for their personal hygiene. A few examples from the movies:

  • In the film Goblet of Fire as Ron is freaking out about his ugly dressrobes, Harry exits the bathroom holding a toothbrush.
  • In the film Half-Blood Prince, Ron tells Hermione she has a bit of toothpaste on her face.
  • In the films Philosopher's Stone and Order of the Phoenix Hagrid and Mr. Weasley take the tube (subway), respectively.
  • In the film Chamber of Secrets "Dentist" is listed on the Weasley clock.
  • In Goblet of Fire, the mere presence of the Prefect's Bathroom demonstrates wizards bathe normally, with soap and water.
  • In Chamber of Secrets, Moaning Myrtle lives in a normal, Muggle toilet. Wizards go potty! I would assume they clean themselves appropriately, with toilet paper. The spell for cleaning is Evanesco; perhaps they use that in a pinch.
  • They eat with utensils and don't use magic to get food from the plate to their mouths.

Just a few examples.

Tampons and pads are not addressed in canon. You forgot to mention the Diva Cup ;)

Birth control is not addressed in canon. I would imagine they do use birth control -- if they want to (Weasley family, I'm lookin' at you!) -- perhaps there are potions or charms to prevent pregnancy, or they use some form of the withdrawal method.

Insurance is not mentioned in canon, but for health care, as Britain has socialized medicine, I wouldn't expect wizards would carry individual health insurance coverage. Broom insurance and Bad Magic liability insurance is not mentioned.

I also believe colds and coughs have been mentioned in canon, but there are no instances of Alzheimer's or HIV being mentioned. Could they contract these conditions (okay, I realized one can't contract Alzheimer's, but hopefully it's clear what I mean)? Maybe Muggleborns or half-bloods could. I don't know about Purebloods. As for serioys magical maladies, in canon Horace Slughorn confirms that Draco Malfoy's grandfather died of Dragon Pox, so, yes, it's possible. Canon doesn't address cancer. But J.K. Rowling has always been clear that magic is not a cure-all. Could St. Mungo's cure cancer? We can only speculate.

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    To use an old quip, do you know what they call people who "use some form of the withdrawal method"? PARENTS. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 26 '14 at 1:20
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    Furthermore, in the film for the Chamber of Secrets, there is a sink for washing hands and the secret entrance to the Chamger is hidden inside/under it. (I don't remember if this is the case for the book). If they need to wash their hands after using the toilet, it must be presumed that the rest is the same. – SylvainL Oct 26 '14 at 4:06
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    About the Weasley clock, see scifi.stackexchange.com/q/60829/4918 – b_jonas Oct 26 '14 at 10:40
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    Martyl's bathroom has a muggle flushing system, because at some point Harry monologues about imagining Martyl being flushed down with the contents of a toilet – user13267 Oct 27 '14 at 12:57
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    @Bobo - What you say makes sense. I kind of want to say that the lack of canon saying otherwise would suggest that wizards use the same basic hygiene tools/practices as Muggles. But not for everything. For example, Hermione uses Sleak-Easy Potion to do her hair before the Yule Ball. Maybe it's a combo of both. :) – Slytherincess Oct 29 '14 at 20:02
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I imagine it would be pretty trivial for an adult wizard to use magic to clean up after pooping, but how would squibs do it? Also because of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, children are not allowed to use magic when not at school so naturally there would be non magical ways of dealing with this. I assume that some sort of magical bidet would be very common in the homes of wealthier wizards though.

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Well, for some reason, the students at Hogwart's don't use paper to write upon, but rather a form of leather. Parchment is a cured goat hide. While they do call the Daily Prophet a newsPAPER, there's no reason to assume it's really paper. The wizarding world doesn't seem to know what guns are, they don't know what ball point pens are, don't use family vehicles and in many other ways seem stuck in the year 1100 AD. I find it conceivable they use corn cobs or leaves or some other horribly harsh plant based product in the bathroom since they can't come to grips with the year in which they live.

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Wizards are portrayed as doing everything that they do regularly so why wouldn't they also do these things as well. It wasn't put into the books or movies, because this is a children's movie and also this is not important to the plot. But the wizards have bathrooms, so they are obviously doing something. And they bathe, so they are obviously getting dirty from regular human body functions. They probably have magic get rid of the toilet paper and other items they use.

  • Harry Potter is for all ages, which is what makes it extra special. It's not just for children, movies or books. – Slytherincess Oct 29 '14 at 23:03
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Don't forget Dumbledore uses Horace Slughorn's loo in Half-Blood Prince. (I do love knitting patterns).

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