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March 19, 2014

Hand Washing Wisdom in Saint Louis

How often do you wash your hands every day? Do you wonder if you’re washing them long enough or with the right product?

I’d like to pass on a few tips about good hand washing. You can get your children started with good washing habits too! My suggestions come from guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

When Should You Wash?

Any time you’re around food, either cooking or eating. If you’re the cook, it’s good to wash before, during and after working with food. Any time you’re caring for someone with a cold, or with a cut or wound, or after sneezing and coughing. And of course, wash after using the toilet and after changing a diaper or helping a child in the bathroom. If in doubt, just wash!

How Clean is Clean?

Here are a few tips to make sure you’re washing enough to really clean your hands:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.

Some sources claim that too much hand washing could lead to germs that become resistant to antibiotics. The CDC studied this in 2005 and found two things: 1) It doesn’t matter whether you use antibacterial or regular soap; they’re equally effective. 2) There’s no evidence that antibacterial soaps are creating any supergerms!

Obviously, we wash our hands a lot at the practice of Dr. Keith Nikodem. But we do much more and follow or exceed every federal and state regulation for dental practices. If you’d like to know more about how we keep our dental office in Saint Louis clean and sterile for our patients, we’d be happy to show you during your next visit!

Posted In: Hygiene
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