How to choose the correct cleaning products for your practice

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  Posted by: The Probe      19th February 2021

It may sound simple, but choosing the correct cleaning products for your dental practice is actually more difficult that you might imagine. Due to the complexity of the dental practice as a setting, it’s not as easy as choosing the strongest solution you can find, as there are many other aspects you need to take into consideration.

Efficacy is vital

It goes without saying that any cleaning products used within a dental setting need to be highly effective. The Coronavirus pandemic has proven that it’s more important than ever to ensure infection control standards are irreproachable in your practice, and this means finding products that can effectively eliminate the vast majority of potential threats when used.

This is especially important when you consider that dental practices are the perfect environment for disease transmission because of high footfall. As such, you’ll want to look out for products that guarantee they can kill 99.9999% of pathogens. This should include bacteria, viruses and other potential problem-causing microbes such as fungi and yeasts.

It’s also a good idea to see if these products are able to destroy novel viruses such as Coronavirus – the more up to date and effective your products, the better they will be at minimising the chance of cross-infection and keeping people within your practice safe.

Delicate on equipment

Your dental equipment is essential and needs to be well maintained, especially as any problems with these systems could interrupt services and be expensive to repair.

Many cleaning products can be quite harsh on certain materials, and this means that cleaning delicate equipment with these products is likely to cause damage. For example, products with high concentrations of bleach or alcohol may cause rubber seals such as those found on autoclaves to deteriorate.[i] This will quickly hamper the efficacy of these systems and result in the need for repair. It’s also important to find non-abrasive products – regular cleaning with products that are too harsh can damage surfaces and equipment, again potentially leading to the need to repair or replace expensive items that would otherwise have remained in perfect working order.

 Are your hand products friendly to skin?

We all know that hand washing is essential for professionals and patients alike in order to help prevent the spread of diseases through contact with doorknobs and other regularly touched surfaces. However, washing hands regularly can cause a number of unpleasant side effects if the products being used aren’t friendly to the skin.

Many soaps strip the natural oils from the skin, leaving hands dry, chapped and prone to damage. For people suffering from eczema, these products can be especially damaging, and prolonged use of non-moisturising products can leave skin cracked, itchy and more prone to infection.[ii]

In light of this, it’s a smart move to find hand soap and hand sanitiser that is kind to skin and which is enriched with moisturising or hand-safe properties. These help prevent the skin from losing all of its essential oils, meaning that even with regular use, skin will be less prone to dryness and damage.

Fragranced or non-fragranced?

One thing we often overlook when buying cleaning products is the impact that certain fragrances can have. Indeed, although we will inevitably choose products that smell clean and fresh, we have to also bear in mind that fragrances can trigger certain adverse reactions.

In fact, some experts believe that as many as 2 million people are sensitive to the chemicals that are used to create artificial fragrances.[iii] This is problematic, as it can cause headaches, runny eyes and nose, breathing difficulties and feelings of nausea, all of which are very uncomfortable for sufferers.

What makes these allergies particularly insidious is that no one is sure exactly what causes them, as most artificial fragrances are made up of hundreds of different chemicals. This means identifying the culprit behind an allergy is almost impossible unless an individual sees the full ingredients list behind every fragrance that causes an adverse reaction.

As dental practices have multiple individuals regularly coming and going, there’s a significant chance that someone may have an allergic sensitivity to fragranced products. As such, it’s a smart idea to only use gently fragranced products or those that have no artificial fragrances at all.

Find an effective all-rounder

Taking these different aspects into consideration, it’s beneficial for professionals to find a range of products that not only provide exceptional cleaning power, but which also overcome these other challenges too.

The Steri-7 Xtra range of disinfectants from Initial Medical, for example, is a wonderfully versatile selection of products that can be used on all surfaces as well as delicate equipment. Hand products in the range are re-moisturising, and all Steri-7 Xtra products eliminate 99.9999% of pathogens. Plus, the range also has innovative Reactive Barrier Technology – this means that once these products are applied, they prevent the recolonisation of pathogens for up to 72 hours.

A smart choice

Cleaning products are one of the most important investments in your dental practice, especially when you consider how often they are used and their essential role in infection control. By investing in products that are powerful, safe to use and unlikely to have any negative impacts on patients and staff, surfaces and equipment, you can build the best defence against the spread of disease.

 

For further information please visit www.initial.co.uk/medical or Tel: 0870 850 4045

 

Author:

Rebecca Waters, Category Manager, Initial Medical

Rebecca has worked in the Healthcare sector for the past 17years and was a Research Chemist with Bayer Cropscience prior to joining Rentokil Initial in 2003.  She keeps up to date on all developments within the clinical waste management industry and is an active member of the CIWM, SMDSA and BDIA.  

 

-Ends-

 

About Initial Medical Waste Experts

Initial Medical is an expert in healthcare waste management, providing a complete collection, disposal and recycling service for hazardous and non-hazardous waste and offensive waste produced by businesses and organisations within the UK.

The safe management of healthcare waste is vital to ensure your activities are not a risk to human health.  Initial Medical’s healthcare waste services ensure that all of your waste is stringently handled in compliance with legislation and in accordance with Safe Management of Healthcare Waste best practice guidelines, providing you with the peace of mind that you are adhering to current legislation.

For further information please visit www.initial.co.uk/medical or Tel: 0870 850 4045

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[i] Infection Prevention and Control of Epidemic- and Pandemic-Prone Acute Respiratory Infections in Health Care. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2014. Annex G, Use of Disinfectants: Alcohol and Bleach. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214356/ [Last accessed November 20].

[ii] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Eczema, Handwashing and the New Coronavirus (COVID-19): Protecting Yourself and Your Skin. Link: https://community.aafa.org/blog/eczema-wash-hands-coronavirus-covid19-prevention [Last accessed November 20].

[iii] WebMD. Fragrance Allergies: A sensory Assault. Link: https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/fragrance-allergies-a-sensory-assault#1 [Last accessed November 20].


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