What It's Like to Wear a Mask in the Dental Industry
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, freelance dental hygienists and dentists have a responsibility to keep themselves and their patients protected. Dentist offices and other healthcare facilities are a place where exposures can occur and at alarming rates.
But is it really uncomfortable to wear protective equipment like a mask while tending to patients or getting through the day? We’ll answer that question shortly. In today’s gig economy, it’s important for workers to be protected especially when they come in contact with people.
If you are a dentist or work as a dental hygienist or assistant, this might be a good time to keep reading. We’ll discuss whether or not if wearing a mask is uncomfortable or not (even if it is a necessary evil). Let’s get right to it:
So Is It Really Uncomfortable to Wear a Mask?
For some: the answer is a resounding yes. However, they said that despite this they feel like they are staying safe. But the truth is, they can grin and bear it for the sake of their health and the health of their patients.
However, there are some images surfacing on social media about how really uncomfortable wearing the protective equipment might be. We’re talking skin irritation, facial marks, and even bruising. This raises quite a few eyebrows (and even have some healthcare facilities reconsidering their approach).
When a face mask causes your skin to itch, that will increase the risk of dentists or hygienists touching their face (which is a cardinal sin during this pandemic). There have also been problems with people wearing eyewear while wearing a mask (specifically their glasses fogging up).
Tips To Manage PPE Discomfort
While ditching the protective equipment is not the smart thing to do, the closest thing that you and others can do is manage it in some ways where wearing it can be slightly more comfortable. Here are some tips that you and other dental professionals can follow:
Use skin moisturizer often: If you deal with sensitive skin on a regular basis, then odds are that skin moisturizer will be your best friend here. Also, you should consider washing your face and neck with soap and water after the end of every shift. This will keep your skin moisturized so it lessens any itchy episodes
Check if your mask is comfortable: If your mask properly fits, then odds are it will be comfortable. Before your shift, make sure that it’s well fit and doesn’t have a habit of falling off
Keep hydrated: This can’t be stressed enough. You might feel warm even a little hot under the protective clothing. You may even sweat a bit. Keep yourself well-hydrated and drink water regularly
Relieve pressure: If you are taking a break, you can remove your face shield or mask (so long as you are not around people). This will help relieve pressure and restore normal blood flow throughout your body. This will also be a blessing if you deal with sensitive skin.
Yes, protective gear may be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. But it’s a necessary evil that we all need to deal with. It’s all for the sake of a greater good.
If you are a freelance dentist or dental hygienist looking for a new gig, you should check out Stynt. Fill out our form or download our app now to get started.