In the dental environment, dental hygienist gloves are just one of the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) mandated by OSHA. They are used to protect the wearer and patient from the spread of infection or disease during examinations or other procedures. Gloves provide an important barrier protection layer to prevent direct contact with infectious agents that are spread during exposure to blood and bloody saliva, contaminated bodies, and surfaces.
More than 700 bacteria have been detected in the oral cavity, and certain pathogens (such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) can survive on the surface for up to 7 months.
1) The dental hygienist gloves are similar to food handling gloves. During patient care, when clinicians need to carry items (for example, take out rearview mirrors from drawers), they can be worn on contaminated examination gloves to prevent cross-contamination.
2) Practical gloves. Heavy-duty utility gloves are an important but often underutilized personal protective equipment. Both OSHA and CDC point out that when handling contaminated instruments, performing housework (for example, cleaning and disinfection), and tasks involving chemicals, general-purpose gloves that are chemically resistant and puncture resistant should be worn. 8. Heavy-duty general-purpose gloves can effectively prevent percutaneous injury and skin injury. Chemical exposure. They are usually composed of nitrile or neoprene and should be cleaned and disinfected after use. Some types can be heat sterilized; this will be specified in the manufacturer’s instructions for use (IFU). Heavy-duty utility gloves are not considered medical devices; therefore, the FDA does not regulate manufacturing standards. Oral health professionals should wear a very suitable pair of practical gloves. The utility of gloves is similar to
handling gloves. During patient care, when clinicians need to carry items (for example, take out rearview mirrors from drawers), they can be worn on contaminated examination gloves to prevent cross-contamination.
What is the Best?
- The task at hand. Gloves should be selected based on the procedure to be performed (for example, patient examination or surgery)
- Material: latex or non-latex
- Skin sensitivity: Consider latex or nitrile allergy
- Scale: The office should have multiple choices
- Fit: A close-fitting but comfortable fit is best. If it is too large, the gloves may hinder task execution. If it is too small, it may cause hand discomfort.
- Hands gloves or finger gloves: According to the preference of the clinician, while considering the length of the operation time
- Touch: Should not significantly reduce sensitivity. Consider the grip, the thickness of the gloves, and whether the material will slip when wet.
Always Use Safe Gloves
Hands are the main route of disease transmission. Hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection, so it must always be done before wearing dental hygienist gloves. Routine hand hygiene and disinfection hand washing, the use of disinfection hand wipes or surgical hand disinfection are all types of hand hygiene. Oral health professionals involved in patient care must be able to perform this task correctly at the right time. Using gloves is never a substitute for cleaning hands.