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How to Wear a Face Mask Correctly

July 3, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbuck @ 4:56 pm
Dentist in Clintonville wearing a surgical mask

You’ve been taking a wide variety of measures to keep yourself and your family safe from COVID-19. This includes limiting your public outings, frequently washing your hands, and practicing social distancing when you’re around people who aren’t members of your household. Another important step that you should be taking is wearing a face covering, but it doesn’t help if you aren’t using it properly. Read on to learn the proper way to use a face mask from your dentist in Clintonville.

How Do Face Masks Work?

A surgical mask is a loose fitting, single use filtration device that covers the mouth and nose. They help by adding an extra barrier between you and other to limit the spread of illnesses. When they are worn properly, they are effective at blocking sprays, splatters, splashes, and small airborne droplets that are expelled when you cough, sneeze, or speak. Another benefit of face mask is that it reduces the likelihood of you touching your face, which can easily make you sick.

Most disposable surgical masks are made up of three different layers of protection. They include:

  • The Outer Layer: This layer of the mask repels bodily fluids and water and reduces the likelihood that it will make contact with your mouth and nose.
  • The Middle Layer: This part is the most effective at filtering out certain pathogens and prevents you from spreading illnesses to others.
  • The Inner Layer: Whenever you exhale, this layer absorbs moisture and sweat from your mouth.

How Do You Wear a Face Mask the Right Way?

In order to wear a surgical mask properly, take the following steps:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Ensure that the colored side of the mask is facing away from your mouth and the metallic strip is at the top against the bridge of your nose.
  3. Secure the mask to your face. The way you do this depends on the type of surgical mask you are using:
    1. Ear Loops: If your mask has two ear loops, place one loop over each ear.
    1. Ties: Tie the upper strings in a bow over the crown of your head. Tie the bottom ones in a bow near the nape of your neck.
    1. Duel Elastic Bands: In this case, pull the top band over your head and position it against your crown. Next, take the bottom band, pull it over your head and place it near the nape of your neck.
  4. Shape the metallic strip to your nose.
  5. Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.

When Should You Be Wearing a Face Mask?

At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advices that everyone wear a cloth face covering in public settings to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes places like grocery stores, any public gatherings, the doctor’s office, and the dental office. Masks should also be worn if you are caring for someone who is sick. Keep in mind that children under the age of two and people who are unable to remove a mask on their own should not wear one.

Wearing face masks is just another small step that you should take that makes a huge difference. Not only will you reduce the risk of becoming sick, but you will limit the possibility of spreading the virus to someone else. This way, you can go on your essential public outings with peace of mind.

About the Author

At Creative Smiles, Dr. Eric P. Buck and his team are committed to providing quality dental care in a safe environment. Dr. Buck earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and is a member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Ohio Dental Association. He is taking a variety of additional precautionary measures, including increased PPE, to keep his practice safe. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (614) 459-7766.

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