The right way of wearing a FaceMask
During global pandemics, wearing a mask is one of the most important actions one can take not only to protect yourself but also to protect others.
There are several types and categories of masks to be used, which usually differ by the level of filtration efficiency.
Surgical masks are the most common ones. Below is a diagram of the most common types of masks.
The first picture shows the surgical mask from the front and the second picture shows the masks from behind. It is important that the user wears the mask with the front of the mask facing forwards.
Surgical masks shown above are once again the most common ones, and being water proof can protect you from droplets and splashes. The effective protection of these masks lasts around 4 hours to 8 hours maximum so it is important that they are changed and if soiled immediate change is advised.
Other type of masks include N95 masks which means that they can filter 95% of the air particles. With these type of masks, the user is protected from vapours and aerosols. These masks like the common surgical masks should also be used for a maximum time period of 4 to 8 hours.
N99 masks or FFP3s, as the name suggests filters 99% of the particles.
Homemade masks could be considered a make-shift type of mask however the surgical masks and the other types of masks are superior. The reason being is that hand made masks are usually not water proof and the fabric is permeable to viruses and other microscopic organisms.
The use of masks is now recommended, and even compulsory in certain instances, in public places, including public transport and other public places.
It is vital to wear a mask:
- If you have a cough or are regularly sneezing.
- If you are or have been in contact with someone who has been tested positive and has been contacted by track and trace.
- If you are a medical worker, you must wear a mask whenever you are in contact with patients.
- If you have been in a place where social distancing is not always possible (store, work, school, etc.).
Step by step Guide on how to put on a Facemask
- First, determine in which side you should place it over your face; the blue side (coloured side as some masks can have different colours such as green or white) should be facing the outside that is not towards your face but towards the public you might be encountering on your daily commute.
- The bendable bit should be on the top and the less bendable bit should be facing downwards. This allows the bendable part of the mask to be moulded by your fingers after ensuring that they are clean and create a more air-tight fit.
- Once again, ensure to have the bendable edge on the top and the right side of the mask facing to your face. Most of the time, the coloured side should be facing away.
- Put the bendable edge on your nose and place the loops over yours ears. Some masks have ties, then hold your mask while placing the ties behind your head.
- Pull the bottom of your mask over your mouth. Make sure it covers it all, as well as your chin.
- Ensure that there is a seal at the bottom where it contacts just below the chin area.
- Once the mask is in position try not to touch or alter its position.
- It is important that you ensure that the mask is at all times covering your nose and mouth. If you do touch the mask, wash your hands before and after with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand gel.
Change your mask every 4 to 8 hours unless it has been damaged, soiled, or made wet in which case the mask should be replaced immediately.
Kindly contact us on 02079358777 if you have any queries about how to wear a mask. At 128 Harley Street Dental Suite, we take pride at ensuring your safety at all times.
Dr. Stefan Abela
BChD, MFDS, RCS Eng, MSc, MORTH RCS Ed, AHEA, FDS Orth RCS Ed
Stefan is a Consultant in Orthodontics at one of the most prestigious London teaching hospitals; Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.
Stefan is also a specialist in Orthodontics and is registered on the General Dental Council (GDC) specialist list. Stefan qualified as a dental surgeon in 2003 and underwent further training in various specialties including restorative dentistry, paediatric dentistry, oral medicine and complex oral and maxillofacial surgery including the management of facial trauma.