We have all learned the importance of practicing good hand washing skills over the last year and realized how important it is to our overall health. But did you know that keeping your hands clean can also impact your oral health as well?
The first week of December is National Handwashing Awareness Week, and we think that this is a great month to help bridge the connection between clean hands and dental health.
So let’s get into why washing your hands can impact your oral health and how you can make sure that you are doing the best you can to keep those hands clean all year long.
Why is Handwashing Important For Disease Prevention?
There is a reason that you see signs posted in every bathroom in Lindale to wash your hands before leaving. Washing your hands helps rid your hands of harmful viruses, bacteria, and microorganisms that can be living on them. And these all can lead to disease.
But it isn’t just after a bathroom break that the CDC recommends washing your hands to prevent spreading disease. They recommend washing your hands before and after preparing food, eating food, caring for someone who is sick, treating a wound. And they recommend washing your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or touching trash.
80% of communicable diseases are spread by person-to-person contact, so taking the time to properly wash your hands can decrease this risk helping you and those around you.
How to Properly Wash Your Hands
Just placing your hands quickly under the water is not going to cut it when it comes to stopping the spread of disease. So what exactly is recommended?
- Wet your hands with clean, running water- if not running your hands could become re-contaminated. The water can be either warm or cold.
- Lather your hands with soap. Be sure to get between your fingers and under your nails- most bacteria on our hands are under our nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them- Damp hands are 1,000 more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands.
Hand-Washing and Oral Health
There are over 700 species of bacteria in your mouth. While some are there for health, others are there to introduce disease. We want to do everything we can to keep the disease-causing bacteria at bay, including washing our hands properly.
We don’t want to introduce any other bacteria into your mouth that could tip the scales and allow the harmful bacteria to increase. Leading to issues such as cavities, gum disease, or inflammation.
Or the introduction of bacteria can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in your gums. This can allow that bacteria to easily enter your bloodstream. Leading to issues with your overall health. Proving the point that your oral health and overall health are always connected.
Schedule Your Dental Checkup
Along with proper brushing, flossing, and your semi-annual visits to your dentist, ensuring that you are practicing proper handwashing techniques can make a great difference in your oral health and overall health.
Both of these aspects of your health are always our top priority at The Center for Implant and General Dentistry. We want your teeth to not only look their best but be their healthiest as well. If it is time for you to come in for dental cleaning be sure to give us a call to schedule your appointment, (903) 231-6605.