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How Does Handwashing Protect You Against COVID-19?

July 8, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — benchmarkteam @ 6:30 pm
Patient washing hands

Your daily habits have changed a lot since the start of the pandemic. You’ve been going out less, working from home, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distancing guidelines. One of the most important steps you can take to keep yourself and the people around you protected is frequent handwashing. Continue reading to learn from your dentist in Copperas Cove about the proper way to wash and sanitize your hands.

When Should You Wash Your Hands?

You know that you should wash your hands after using the restroom, but when else is it necessary? Here are a handful of times when cleaning them is probably a good idea.

  • After you return from a public outing
  • After coughing, blowing your nose, or sneezing
  • Before preparing or eating food
  • When caring for someone who is sick
  • After using public computers
  • After touching cash or coins
  • When treating a wound
  • After shaking hands with someone

How Do You Wash Your Hands Properly?

  • Wet: Place your hands under clean, running water.
  • Lather: Use a generous amount of soap. Be sure to reach the inside, back, and fingertips. Also clean under jewelry and fingernails. Do this for at least twenty seconds. You can sing the happy birthday song twice in your head to get an idea of how long that is.
  • Scrub: Rub both of your hands together and use your fingertips to gently scrub.
  • Rinse: Put your hands back under running water to rinse away all of the soap.
  • Dry: When you dry your hands, use a disposable paper towel or an air drier. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria that can make you sick.

What Should You Know About Hand Sanitizer?

  • You should only use hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash your hands. Handwashing is the best way to keep them clean.
  • Always choose a hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol. Having a sanitizer that is lower than that isn’t nearly as effective at killing germs.
  • Don’t use sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
  • If the alcohol in the sanitizer dries out the skin your hands, use a moisturizer.

How Do You Use Hand Sanitizer Properly?

If you are in a situation where washing your hands isn’t ideal, here’s how to use sanitizer:

  1. Read the label on the bottle to determine how much you should use.
  2. Apply that amount to the palm of your hand.
  3. Rub the sanitizer around your hands. Don’t forget the inside, back, and fingertips.
  4. Continue for 20 seconds or until the sanitizer has dried completely.

Washing your hands frequently is a small, but effective step to keep yourself and others safe as well as lowering the curve of COVID-19 cases. By doing this, you can rest assured that you are doing your part during the pandemic.

About the Author

At Benchmark Family Dental, Dr. Daniel Caraveo and Dr. Gary Pundt are committed to providing safe, comfortable, and quality dental care to their patients. Dr. Caraveo earned his DDS from the Baylor College of Dentistry and worked as a dentist in the US army before joining the practice 10 years ago. Dr. Pundt earned his DDS from the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in California and has gained over 16 years of experience. The team has added 14 additional steps to keep their patients safe from COVID-19. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (254) 547-4866.

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