One of the most powerful ways to protect yourself against viruses like COVID-19 is by regularly cleaning your hands, especially if you’re an essential worker who spends all day physically interacting with other people. Even if you spend most of your time social distancing at home, though, hand hygiene is still crucial. Knowing the proper way to clean your hands and which products you should use is important. To learn which products you should be on the lookout for and how to wash your hands most effectively, keep these three tips from a dentist in Portage in mind.
How to Choose and Use the Correct Hand Sanitizer
The next time you make a trek to the grocery store, be sure to select a hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95 percent alcohol. Anything less than 60 percent won’t be as effective at killing germs on your hands. Before using your hand sanitizer, check the instructions on the label. Most of the time, all you have to do is squeeze a dime-sized amount into your palm and rub it over both of your hands until dry. Don’t wipe the sanitizer off until your hands are fully dry.
It’s worth mentioning that hand sanitizer cannot entirely replace handwashing. If you have grease, dirt, or grim on your hands, you’ll need to wash them before applying hand sanitizer. Moreover, you should always clean your hands after touching doorknobs, handling cash, and before and after pushing a grocery cart.
How to Perfect Your Handwashing Technique
Handwashing seems fairly self-explanatory, but there’s actually an ideal way to do it. Wet both hands under clean running water. Then, apply a liberal amount of soap to the backs and insides of your hands. Scrub all parts of your hands, including the areas underneath your nails and between your fingers. Remove watches and jewelry beforehand.
You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sing the alphabet song to yourself for reference. After you’ve sufficiently scrubbed, rinse your hands one last time and dry them thoroughly with either a clean cloth towel or disposable paper towels.
Should You Wear Gloves?
Unless you’re a medical worker or already sick, healthcare professionals advise against wearing gloves as a substitute for handwashing. Not only can you spread the germs on the gloves to yourself and others, but you encourage bacterial growth on your hands because of the moisture that builds up underneath the gloves the longer you wear them. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that you wash your hands before and after putting on gloves.
By keeping these three tips in mind, you can do your part to slow the spread, flatten the curve, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe from COVID-19.
About the Practice
At Advanced Dental Concepts, nothing is more important to us than the well-being of our patients in the Portage, IN area. We make sure to follow the health and safety guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American Dental Association. In order to keep our patients as safe as possible in these trying times, we engage in extensive hand hygiene to minimize the risk of contamination. To learn more about how we’re keeping our office clean, visit our website or call us at (219) 763-6878.