What is Hand Hygiene?

Hand Hygiene is defined by either washing one’s hand with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand rub in either gel or foam (such as hand sanitizer).

Practicing Hand Hygiene is a simple, yet effective, way to prevent infections and cross contamination. Our hands may look clean, but many germs are invisible to our eyes. We can unknowingly transmit germs on our hands to others and our environment. Washing your hands properly is the most important thing you can do to help prevent and control the spread of germs and illnesses.

Effective Hand Washing Technique:

  1. Remove all jewelry.
  2. Turn on faucet using a paper towel.
  3. Wet hands and apply liquid soap (do not just apply soap to your hands, as it will dry your skin out).
  4. Using vigorous rubbing and circular motions, scrub the following parts of the hand for at least 20 seconds:
    • Palms
    • Sides of hands
    • Back
    • Wrists
    • Nail beds
    • Between fingers
    • Thumbs
  5. Rinse your hands at a lower angle than the position of your elbows to prevent dirty water from running back onto your arms.
  6. Dry hands and forearms with paper towels.
  7. Turn off the faucet using a new paper towel (this will protect your hands from any contamination on the taps).
  8. Apply lotion if required after hand washing (to keep the skin healthy, and minimize skin irritations and excessive drying).

Hand washing should be done before and after eating, using the restroom, prior to starting work or leaving the work area, after blowing your nose or muffling a sneeze, and whenever hands become contaminated. Good Hand Hygiene will reduce the risk of things like flu, food poisoning, or any other viral infections.
Braeside Dental Centre


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