As dentists we are effectively infection-control experts. We adhere to the highest cleaning, sterilisation and sanitisation procedures stipulated by the Dental Council New Zealand (DCNZ) for registered oral health practitioners. Now everyone has been urged to be vigilant with their hygiene habits to help stay healthy and limit the spread of COVID-19. We thought we would share our top COVID-19 hygiene tips.
- Always replace your toothbrush, or change the head of your electric toothbrush, if you have been sick.
- Small travel-sized tubes of toothpaste are a great idea if you are sick or at risk, so that all members of a household are not sharing the same tube.
- It has been recommended to stop using tea towels.
- Consider using paper towels instead of hand towels, or if this is not feasible replace hand towels frequently.
- Wash your hands frequently, and hand sanitiser is a great option if you do not have soap and water available, however a minimum of 20 seconds washing with soap and water is just as effective. Ensure you dry your hands thoroughly.
- Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces daily. Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. Make cleaning and disinfecting ‘touch points’ a daily routine. This should include bench tops, door handles, your phone, computer mouse and keyboard, light switches, tables, TV remotes, toilets and taps.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth so that any viruses on your hands are not transferred to these places where they can easily enter the body.
- If you have to sneeze or cough, always use a tissue and dispose of it immediately. If that’s not possible then it is recommended to cough into your bent elbow.