Everyone knows that washing your hands a lot is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick. But not everyone knows that washing your hands properly is just as important as washing them frequently. To wash away viruses like the coronavirus, you must wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, making sure you get the back of your hands, your thumbs, and in between your fingers. Any liquid or bar soap will do the trick. It doesn’t have to be expensive or antibacterial.
Soap is excellent at breaking down fats. Viruses like the coronavirus are held together by a thin layer of lipids, or fat. When soap is applied to these layers, the virus particles are broken apart, and the destroyed virus is washed down the drain. However, the soap needs to have enough time to come into contact with all of the virus particles and break them down. This is why it is not enough to simply apply soap to your hands and then wash it right off. Scrubbing your hands with soap also makes them slippery, which helps to pry even the most stubborn of germs off of your hands.
It may sound like common sense, but studies have shown that many adults do not wash their hands as often as they should. Even fewer adults wash their hands properly. You should always wash your hands after using the restroom, before you eat, and after coughing or sneezing into them. During these next couple of months, we also recommend washing your hands after you touch things in public that many other people have also touched, like door handles, gas pumps, keypads, and shopping carts.
Next Best Thing
If you’re out and about and can’t access a sink, using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is the next best thing. Wearing gloves prevents germs from getting on your hands in the first place, but it’s important that you remove your gloves before touching things like your phone, car keys, and steering wheel to avoid cross-contamination, unless you plan on sanitizing them right afterward. You will also want to avoid touching your face while out and about. This in another way you can reduce your risk of getting sick.
Stay Safe Out There!
There’s still so much about COVID-19 that we don’t understand. A little extra caution can go a long way during uncertain times. At Alder Trails Dental, we are taking additional precautions to sanitize our office and to provide a safe environment for quality dental care. We want you to feel comfortable when you come in for your appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!