May 5th is World Hand Hygiene Day. This day is set aside to remind us of the importance of consistent hand washing in order to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria. We use our hands for everything, and you might be surprised at how often you touch your face, nose, or mouth without even realizing it. These touches, even though they’re small and quick, can spread germs and cause you to get ill. In today’s blog, your Plano family dentist explains how World Hand Hygiene Day helps us remember the connection between washing our hands and reducing diseases and illness.
Hand Hygiene and Oral Health
How often have you touched your lips or mouth with your hands today? Probably more often than you know. How about people with habits such as fingernail biting? Extremely often!
These small habits, whether you realize you’re doing them or not, can lead to problems for your oral health because your hands introduce all kinds of bacteria into your mouth, and most of it is not good. This bacteria can often lead to issues like gum disease.
The Problem With Biting Your Nails
Besides the amount of dirt, bacteria, and germs that biting your nails brings into your mouth. There are other problems that this habit causes, such as:
- Small fractures to your teeth that can lead to bigger issues down the road
- Injuries to your soft tissues from jagged finger nails
- Damage to the delicate skin around your nails
Consistent hand washing can be a great way to deter nail biting since it reminds you to avoid the habit, while also protecting your mouth from the additional bacteria.
Proper Hand Washing
When it’s time to wash your hands, it’s important that you use proper techniques. Common areas that are typically missed during hand washing are:
- Finger tips
- In between fingers
Be sure to cover all areas and wash your hands for at least 15 to 20 seconds. You can use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is acceptable when your hands are not visibly dirty. A sanitizer can be a quick and effective way to kill bacteria without causing the dryness of soap and water.
If you have more questions about hand hygiene and oral health, your family dentist in Plano is happy to answer them.
About Antoon Family Dental
For over 20 years, Dr. Sam Antoon has been providing exceptional dental care to patients residing in Plano, TX. Dr. Antoon is caring and gentle and looks forward to building long term relationships with his patients. Local families will enjoy a wide range of services designed to meet their needs so they won’t be referred elsewhere for their care.
If you would like to contact Dr. Antoon, he can be reached by calling 972-267-5000 or through his website.