At this time, we are all making a variety of changes to our lives to prevent ourselves and others from getting sick. This is especially important for more vulnerable people who are at higher risk of developing life-threatening symptoms if they were to contract COVID-19. Social distancing, limiting your public outings, and frequent hand washing are all great steps that make a big difference. Another way to prevent infection is by wearing a face mask. Whether or not your area is requiring face masks, it is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to wear one when you are in public locations including the dental office. Your dentist in Dublin shares how to properly wear a face mask, including some do’s and don’ts.
What is a Face Mask?
Face masks are loose fitting, single use filtration devices that cover the nose and mouth. They block droplets, sprays, and splatters that exit your mouth when you cough, sneeze, and talk. They also help to filter out certain pathogens. When you wear one, you reduce the chances of spreading illnesses to others. Equipping a face mask also prevents you from making hand to face contact, lowering your chances of becoming sick.
They have 3 layers of protection:
- The inner layer: This layer absorbs moisture and sweat when you talk and exhale.
- The middle layer: The middle layer is the most effective layer at filtering out certain pathogens so they do not spread to others.
- The outer layer: This layer repels water, bodily fluids, and other liquids. This way, they don’t make contact with your mouth or nose.
What Is the Right Way to Wear A Face Mask?
When equipping a face mask, it’s important to ensure that you’re wearing it correctly so it can do its job. Follow these steps to wear it properly:
- Wash your hands.
- Make sure the colored side of the mask is facing away from your mouth, and the metallic strip is at the top of the mask. It should rest against the bridge of your nose.
- Secure the mask to your face. Depending on the type you have, it will have one of the following:
- Ear loops: In this case, place one loop over each ear to secure it into place.
- Duel elastic bands: Pull the top band over your head and position it against the crown of your head. Next, pull the bottom band over your head and place it near the nape of your neck.
- Ties: Using the lower strings, tie a bow near the nape of the neck. Then, use the upper strings to tie a bow near the crown of your head.
- Mold the metallic strip to fit the shape of your nose. This helps to give you better facial coverage.
- Pull the bottom of your mask over your mouth and chin.
Remember that you shouldn’t reuse single use masks, allow the mask to dangle from you ear, hang your mask around your neck, or touch the mask once it is secure to your face.
When Should I Wear A Face Mask?
According to the guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), you should wear a face mask if you have or are caring for someone who has the following symptoms, as they could be related to COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath
- Other respiratory symptoms
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone wear a face covering during public outings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Be aware of the guidelines in your area regarding face coverings. Children under the age of two, people with breathing difficulties, and those who are unable to remove a mask on their own should not wear a face covering.
By wearing a face mask, you are doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and making the world a safer place. Your dentist in Dublin appreciates the steps you are taking and is taking new precautions himself to keep others healthy.
About the Author
At Distinctive Smiles of Dublin, Dr. Eric Buck is passionate about providing excellent dental care in a safe treatment environment. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and is involved with many professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the Columbus Dental Society. Dr. Buck and his team have implemented several new protocols to keep the office safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (614) 792-1800.