In everyday life we unknowingly accumulate thousands of germs throughout the day. Healthcare workers have known that unwashed hands transmit stomach, intestine and respiratory infections like the Coronavirus for over 200 years.
If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a good adjunct but know that hand washing with soap and water is superior. According to the CDC, hand sanitizers:
- Quickly reduce the number of germs but do not eliminate all of types of germs.
- May not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
- May not remove harmful chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals.
Here is a link to the very informative CDC article on how and when to use hand sanitizer:
Now that we have established that HAND WASHING IS KING, before bringing your hands close to your nose and mouth please use the following technique to wash them. Demonstrations are always helpful so please watch this short 1 minute, 25 second YouTube clip from the Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Hospital Epidemiology:
I have included a graphic from the World Health Organization that you may want to keep as a reference with the same step by step instructions for proper hand washing.
For more good information about handwashing The Centers for Disease Control has an excellent article I recommend that you read: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html
I promised that I would be brief so that is all for now. I look forward to discussing flossing with you next.
Yours in Health,
Sharon Albright, D.D.S.