As of June 3rd, 2020, we made mask-wearing mandatory for visitors to ALFIE Dentistry. All of our staff are equipped with face masks and face shields - so that we can all protect each other. Similar to hand-washing and hand-sanitizing, there is a correct way to wear a mask (and a correct way to take it off).
First things first, though - here are a few things to keep in mind, when wearing your mask:
1) Wash your hands thoroughly before putting your mask on
2) Never reuse a single-use, disposable mask
3) Don't keep touching and adjusting your mask
4) Don't move the mask down or off to one ear when you're speaking to someone. The mask should be completely on or completely off - not somewhere 'in between'.
5) Once removed, toss single-use mask in the garbage can.
6) Wash your hands after tossing the mask.
How to Wear a Mask:
1) Wash your hands thoroughly. You should be putting on and taking off your own mask (because if someone else does it for you, whatever is on their hands can transfer onto your face).
2) Masks have an 'inside' and an 'outside' as well as a 'top' and a 'bottom'. The colourful side should be facing out and the white side should be touching your face.
3) Disposable masks comes with a bendable wire (this is the top of your mask). Carefully crease it in the middle (so that it will follow the shape of your nose), making sure that you are not touching the inside of your new mask. Unfold it about half-way and secure the ear loops onto your ears.
4) Align the crease to your nose, make sure to press the wire, gently encouraging the metal piece to conform to the bridge of your nose.
5) The masks are pleated for a reason - so that you can pull the bottom edge to wrap underneath the chin.
6) Make any final adjustments so that the sides taper to your face.
7) Do not touch the mask with your hands while it is on.
How to remove a mask:
1) Wash your hands thoroughly.
2) Grasp the ear straps and remove the mask away and down from you.
3) Discard into a garbage can.
4) Wash hands throughly.
It may seem pretty obvious but, we have seen quite a few faux-pas - mostly at the grocery store.
Here are some examples of what NOT to do:
This lady does not have her nose covered.
Pathogens can get into her system through the nose. As mentioned earlier, the mask should go right over the nose, and it should be formed to the shape of her nose.
This lady has her nose covered, which is great - she *may* benefit from pressing the mask at the top to conform to her nose a little bit more (but it could also be the angle that this image was shot).
The potential risk we see, is that the mask isn't pulled allllll the way down to hook underneath the chin - which gives pathogens a closer route to enter through the mouth.
We like that this lady has her nose covered, all the way down to her chin. However, take a look at the sides of this mask - there are large gaping holes where pathogens can enter. Ideally, the sides should more or less trace the shape of her face.
The photo above also has the side gaps - but less pronounced.
This man should not be touching his face or the front of his mask.
When removing, you also don't touch the front of the mask. You just take your hands to the earloops to remove the mask.
These are N95 masks - for medical staff only. For community use, please use the 'normal' surgical masks.
Why is this mask just thrown on the ground? Used masks should be dropped off into the garbage can - so that other people do not have to touch the mask (and potentially come in contact with the user's germs). Hypothetically, a toddler or a pet could also pick it up, without realizing what it is - and that's not keeping your community safe
It's also an eyesore to see litter everywhere!
This is a masquerade mask :). It's pretty, but not for protecting you against COVID-19.