Did you know that there are about 5 million bacteria on each of your hands at any given time? In a pandemic, it is important that those germs and viruses are not given the opportunity to enter your system or spread to your friends and family. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reinforced that handwashing and sanitizing remain a top priority in fighting COVID-19. Your dentist in Weatherford explains how proper hand hygiene can help flatten the curve.
How Does Handwashing Help Beat COVID-19?
Since the start of the pandemic, authorities have made the importance of handwashing abundantly clear. However, few understand the science of handwashing and its ability to prevent deadly viruses, like COVID-19, from spreading. Below is an insight into the science behind it:
- Soap is a surfactant – In basic chemistry, a surfactant is classified as a substance that can break down the oils, dirt, and germs on your skin. Although invisible to the naked eye, daily activities like touching door handles, countertops, and grocery carts can cause germs to collect on your hands. If the bacteria come in contact with your nose, eyes, or mouth, the virus can enter your system and become fatal. Therefore, regularly using the surfactant properties in soap to break down the germs is vital.
- Water plays a crucial role – Although running your hands under water does not count as proper handwashing, when used with soap it is an important part of the process. If clean water is not used to rinse, then both the soap and the microbes will remain on your hands. That is why washing your hands is more effective than using a hand sanitizer (although it is a great choice when washing your hands is not an option).
5 Steps to Washing Your Hands Effectively
Did you know that only 3% of the population washes their hands correctly? Yikes! When fighting a virus, a proper handwashing technique is of the utmost importance. Here are the five steps you need to know:
- Wet your hands under clean, running water.
- Apply soap and lather generously.
- Scrub the front, back, and side of your hands. (As well as underneath your fingernails and jewelry).
- Rinse with clean, running water.
- Dry completely.
Frequency is Important
A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that despite all the everyday activities that required handwashing, the average person only does it about 33% of the time. While washing your hands after using the restroom or taking out the trash is suggested pandemic or not, these conditions have increased amid COVID-19. Make sure to wash your hands:
- Before and after touching your face mask.
- Prior to eating food.
- When treating an injury.
- After touching your pet.
- If you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose.
During a pandemic, we must all do our part to prevent the spread. Fortunately, something as simple as proper hand hygiene techniques can fight against even viruses as deadly as COVID-19.
About Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
For over 60 years, Cosmetic and Family Dentistry has delivered all-inclusive family treatments and unparalleled service to the people of Weatherford, Texas. With the latest technology and a focus on providing a comfortable atmosphere, the entire team lives out their passion whether it is a routine check-up or cosmetic appointment. For more information on what the team is doing to follow dental safety protocol in Weatherford, visit their website or give them a call at 817-594-3806.