Tobin Dental News

How Clean is Clean? 5 Top Hand Washing Tips

added on: April 29, 2013 | By: Dr. Nancy Tobin

Do you have good hand washing habits? And how do you know your hands are really clean? Obviously, it’s an important issue at our dental office in Garden City, because we wash our hands all the time! We’d like to pass a few tips on to you about keeping your hands clean.

First of all, just how important is it really to wash your hands frequently? Well, in one study, more than 10% of people’s hands carried as much fecal bacteria as you’d find in a dirty toilet bowl. And this kind of contamination was found on bank cards and money too!

(If you want to wash your hands right now, go ahead! But come back and read how to do it really well.)

When Should You Wash?

If you’re cooking, it’s good to wash before, during and after working with food. Any time you’re caring for someone with a cold, or with a cut or wound, or after sneezing and coughing. And of course, after using the toilet and after changing a diaper or helping a child in the bathroom. If in doubt, just wash!

If You’ve Got 20 Seconds…

That’s all it takes to do a thorough job of hand washing, if you follow these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.

  • Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

  • Rinse your hands well under running water.

  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.


We wash our hands a lot at Tobin Dental Care. But we do much more to make sure our dental office is clean and sterile for you, and we meet or exceed every regulation set by the CDC and the state of New York. If you’d like to know more about it, just ask us during your next visit at our Garden City dental office!