During global pandemics, such as the coronavirus Covid 19 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.
Disposable Surgical masks are the most common ones. Below is a diagram of the most common types of masks.
Which side of the mask is correct?
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.
How long does protection from face masks last?
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.
Which type of mask is best?
Depending on the level of protection and filtration you would like there are a range of options.
- N95 masks – these 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.
When should you wear a mask?
In addition to the government guidelines on wearing masks, it’s also important to wear a mask if:
- 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.).
How to wear a disposable surgical mask
- Determine which side you should place 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 over your nose 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.
How often should you change your facemask?
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 01353667200 if you have any queries about how to wear a mask. At Ely Smiles, your orthodontic practice in Ely, Cambridgeshire, we take pride at ensuring your safety at all times.