Question: How many times did you wear a face mask before 2020? Rarely, if ever, right? However, over the past few months, they have become a part of our everyday life. From trips to the grocery store, errands around town, and visits with friends and family, they have become as necessary as our phones and keys.
While face masks are crucial in limiting the spread of COVID-19, it is important to note that they are only effective if worn properly. Your dentist in Orange Park shares how to properly put them on and the dos and don’ts of wearing one.
Steps to Putting on a Face Mask
- Step 1: Wash your hands – Washing your hands with soap and water remains a top priority in the fight against COVID-19. Before grabbing your mask, make sure to give your hands a good cleaning for 20 seconds. This will prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses on your hands to your mask as well as your nose and mouth.
- Step 2: Inspect your mask – If the mask you grab has any holes, dirt, or debris on it, then it might be contaminated and not fit for use. If it is a single-use mask, throw it out and grab the next one. If it is reusable, try washing it thoroughly before replacing it.
- Step 3: Place the colored side out – If you have a medical grade mask, each layer serves a specific purpose. The outer layer (the colored side) repels water and other body fluids. The middle layer filters pathogens, and the inner layer absorbs moisture from the exhaled air. If worn incorrectly, the outer and inner layers are rendered ineffective and can leave you vulnerable to bacteria and viruses.
- Step 4: Tie – The type of face mask you have will determine how to properly tie it securely. If you have ear loops, simply place one loop around each ear. If you have ties or elastic bands, secure them to the crown of your head to effectively hold your mask in place.
- Step 5: Pull down over your nose and mouth – To limit the spread of germs, it is important that both your nose and mouth are completely covered by your face mask.
The Dos of Wearing a Face Mask
Now that your mask is secure and in the right position, it is important to implement these best practices to ensure maximum effectiveness:
- Make sure the mask fits snugly.
- Replace the mask if it gets dirty.
- Continue to wash your hands frequently.
- Practice social distancing.
The Don’ts of Wearing a Face Mask
Even if your mask is applied properly, certain habits can negatively impact its value. When wearing your face mask, make sure to avoid these don’ts:
- Adjusting the mask once it’s on.
- Hanging the mask on your neck or ear.
- Reusing single-use masks.
- Touching your nose, eyes, or mouth when removing it.
Face masks have played a pivotal role in the fight against COVID-19. By putting them on properly and abiding by the dos and don’ts, we can help save lives in our community and around the world!
About the Author
Graduating from SDM College of Dental Sciences in Karnataka, India and the prestigious Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine are just two of the significant accomplishments Dr. Patel has achieved. At Kind Care Dentistry, she uses the latest techniques to offer her patients a comfortable, fear-free experience that results in beautiful smiles and healthy teeth. For more information on how her practice is committed dental safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Kind Care Dentistry’s website or give them a call at 904-278-9011.