Correct handwashing reduces illness by 50%.
If you could reduce the chances of you getting sick by 50% and the solution only took 20 seconds, would you do it? Most of us would answer with a resounding yes! This solution for health isn’t a magic pill or a fad diet — it’s actually as simple as washing your hands.
Handwashing is one of the single most effective ways of reducing exposure to harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. By eliminating your exposure to these bad germs, you’re effectively reducing your chances of getting sick — whether it be a simple cold or digestive upset.
Here’s why handwashing is so important in protecting health.
There are two big reasons why handwashing is such an integral aspect of protecting our health.
First, our hands touch hundreds of surfaces on a daily basis, all of which contain hundreds of thousands of different types of bacteria. Hands — especially the fingertips and under the nails — harbor most of the germs. In fact, even just using the bathroom can double the number of bacteria on your hands!
Second, proper handwashing physically removes 99% of the germs present on our skin. While hand sanitizer is a great way to stay safe when you can’t wash, even the most effective hand sanitizer isn’t a replacement for handwashing.
By adopting effective handwashing habits you can:
- Reduce the chances of developing a cold by 50%
- Reduce the chances of developing a foodborne illness by 50%
- Reduce the chances of developing a respiratory infection by 20%
- Stop the spread of germs and viruses to others around you
How and when should you wash your hands to keep from getting sick?
Even a short handwashing session is better than skipping a wash entirely; however, only correct handwashing technique will help you achieve the health benefits listed above and keep you from getting sick. A proper handwashing session only takes 20 seconds yet it can yield incredible health benefits, like those we listed above.
There are five steps to washing your hands the right way.
- Get your hands wet with either hot or cold water.
- Lather your hands with plain or antibacterial soap.
- Scrub all surfaces of your hands, paying close attention to the fingertips and nails, for a full 20 seconds.
- Rinse under clean, running water.
- Dry with an air dryer or clean towel.
The two most important things to remember are to wash for 20 seconds total (about the amount of time it would take to sing “Happy Birthday” twice) and to always use soap.
The most important times to wash your hands include:
- Before and after cooking or eating
- Before and after caring for someone
- Before and after treating a cut or injury
- After using the bathroom or changing a diaper
- After sneezing or blowing your nose
- After handling pets or pet food
- After handling garbage or pet waste
Dr. Alhedef and the team keep patients healthy and safe.
Dr. Alhadef and the Dallas Cosmetic Dental team value our patients’ health and safety. Our office follows sanitization guidelines given by the CDC and OSHA as well as our own protocol.
You can learn more about how we keep a safe, sanitary environment for our patients by giving us a call or using this online form.1227629_HandwashingInfographic20DentalBrands_ALHADEF_111221-compressed