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How Does Handwashing and Sanitizing Help to Prevent COVID-19?

July 9, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — houstondentist @ 11:44 pm
Man washing hands

Out of the many steps that you should be taking to stay healthy, handwashing is among the most important. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this is especially critical. Now that many businesses have reopened, it’s crucial to your health that you keep up with your hand hygiene throughout the day by washing or using hand sanitizer. Continue reading to learn from your dentist in Montrose about the proper way and time to clean your hands.

When Should You Wash Your Hands?

You should be washing your hands throughout the day to prevent yourself from falling ill.  Here are some examples of times when you should head to the sink to wash:

  • After using the restroom
  • Before preparing or eating food
  • After returning from a public outing
  • After shaking hands with someone
  • After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose
  • After caring for someone who is sick

How Do You Wash Your Hands Properly?

To ensure that you are washing your hands effectively, take the following steps:

  1. Place your hands beneath clear, running water.
  2. Apply a generous amount of soap to your hands and lather well for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to wash all parts of your hands including the back, inside, and fingertips.
  3. To scrub, rub your hands together and move your fingertips around.
  4. Put both of your hands back under the running water to rinse away all of the soap.
  5. Use an air dryer or a disposable paper towel to dry off your hands. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria.

When Should You Use Hand Sanitizer?

Handwashing is always the best option to keep your hands clean. However, if you don’t have soap or clean running water available, hand sanitizer is the next best thing.

What Should You Know About Hand Sanitizer?

  • You should choose a sanitizer that has 60-95% alcohol. If there is not a high enough concentration, it will be ineffective and isn’t likely to prevent you from getting sick.
  • If your hands are greasy or visibly dirty, you should opt for handwashing instead.
  • Hand sanitizer can cause dry skin. If this happens to you, be sure to use a moisturizer to prevent additional dryness and irritation.

How Do You Use Hand Sanitizer Effectively?

  1. To determine the amount of sanitizer that you should use, check the label of the bottle. Apply the correct amount to the palm of your hand.
  2. Rub the hand sanitizer all over the entirety of both of your hands.
  3. Continue doing this for at least 20 seconds or until the sanitizer has dried completely.

Out of all the steps you should be taking to protect yourself and your family against the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining good hand hygiene is one of the most important. By washing and sanitizing your hands correctly, you can rest at ease knowing that you are keeping the people around you and yourself safe from illnesses.

About the Author

Dr. Donald F. Tamborello is a native of the Houston area and has been offering quality care at his practice for 32 years. He earned his dental degree from the University of Texas and is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Tamborello and his team are taking 19 additional steps, including washing their hands even more than usual, to keep the office as safe as possible. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (713) 522-7540.

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