When thinking about infection control and cleanliness in your operatory rooms, common dental supplies such as exam gloves, face masks and shields come to mind, but have you ever wondered about the dental bib clips being contaminated with oral and skin bacteria from a previous patient? Most hygienists will clean the bib clip with a disinfecting alcohol wipe along with the rest of the operatory clean up and assume it’s sufficient.
Unfortunately, it isn’t. According to a new study by Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, it’s been discovered that 20-30% of dental bib clips had aerobic bacteria on them even after proper disinfecting procedures. One interesting fact found in the study is that rubber clips harbored more bacteria than metal clips.
Armed for Protection
While working on patients, you wear shields, face mask and exam gloves to protect yourself from the splatter that occurs during dental procedures. However, while you’ve got your protection covered, you also need to consider patient protection. During routine cleaning procedures or other treatments, the splatter comes down onto the patient’s bib and bib clip which is how the contamination occurs. It can also occur during or after the procedure if the assistant or dentist touches the clip to to adjust the patient’s bib. In some cases, patients can be responsible for the contamination if they touch the clip with bacteria from their own hands.
What is the best way to keep this from happening? One answer would be to use a new bib clip for each patient or use disposable bib holders. Keep this in mind next time you stock up on dental supplies. Here are some choices that SmartPractice offers.
Bib-Eze Disposable Bib Holders by Dux are very simple to use and removing is as easy as tearing off the ends, while eliminating any need to sterilize. SmartPractice also carries a Sani-Tab Chain-Free Patient Bib by Crosstex, which eliminates the need for clips and chains forever with adhesive tabs that allow you to position the bib anywhere on the patient. TIDI Chainless Patient Bibs eliminates the need for bib chains and reduce the chance for cross contamination with ties attached. The contour neck design provides increased coverage. Plus they are made in the USA.
Want to try before you buy? Fill out the form below for a FREE sample of disposable bib clips!