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3 Legacy Errors in Dental Infection Control That Need a Serious Course Correction

Unmask the hidden dangers of legacy errors in dental infection control with Michelle Strange RDH and discover safer solutions for your clinic.
Unmask the hidden dangers of legacy errors in dental infection control with Michelle Strange RDH and discover safer solutions for your clinic.


Hey, dental collegues! Michelle Strange, RDH here, your dental infection control coordinator, ready to spill the tea on some common blunders that are still haunting our workspaces. We're talking about legacy errors, those pesky habits that have somehow managed to stick around despite our ever-evolving knowledge. Trust me, these aren't just harmless quirks; they can lead to serious — and costly — consequences. 


So, buckle up as we dive into 3 legacy errors in dental infection control that I encounter all too often.


First things first: What is a legacy error?

Legacy errors, dear colleagues, are those tricky habits we unintentionally inherit and pass down in our dental clinics. Picture this: a seasoned pro passes on their knowledge, but along with the pearls of wisdom, a few outdated practices sneak into the mix. It's not a deliberate act; it's more like a family heirloom that nobody wants, but everyone seems to get. 


You might even find yourself unknowingly practicing a legacy error, seemingly harmless until someone points it out. These sneaky culprits can linger in our routines, quietly sabotaging our infection control efforts. So, let's play detective, identify these patterns, and break free from outdated practices. 


Let me give you a few all-too-common examples:

1. The Wipe Dilemma: One Hand Is Not Enough

Think of this: you're diligently wiping down surfaces, but there's a critical oversight — only one hand is doing the job while the other is recontaminating everything. Plus, you can’t clean thoroughly with only one wipe in action. 


→The Legacy Error Unveiled: Not Using a Wipe in Each Hand


Let me break it down for you here. Using a disinfectant wipe in each hand ensures comprehensive coverage and eliminates the risk of missing spots. Both sides need to be working together in sync to ensure proper dental infection control. So, when it comes to disinfecting items in the office, it's a two-handed task, folks! Head to my Instagram video to see what I mean.


2. The Chinstrap Saga: Medical Waste or Fashion Statement?

Now, let's address a legacy error that really needs to be given the cold shoulder — or, in this case, chin. Wearing your mask around your chin might be a tempting, almost mechanical move, but in the world of dental infection control, it's a big no-no. Disposable face masks aren’t a makeshift accessory, people; they’re medical waste, and they belong in the trash.


→The Legacy Error Unveiled: Mask on the Chin


I get it; the power of habit is hard to conquer. But here's the deal: letting your mask just hang on your chin and touching it more and more as time passes is a contamination risk waiting to happen. And it’s one that could affect both you and the next patient. You wouldn’t install a security system and leave the front door wide open, would you? So take off your mask between patients, toss it away — the end.


3. Autoclave Anarchy: The Dirty Hands Dilemma

Ever wondered if your autoclave has a preference for clean or dirty hands? Spoiler alert: it doesn't. But failing to label it properly can lead to confusion, potential breaches, and an unnecessary game of autoclave roulette. So, while you open the autoclave with clean hands, it's crucial to ensure your team members also distinguish between 'clean' and 'dirty' when it comes to its handles and buttons.


→The Legacy Error Unveiled: Autoclave Labeling Mishaps


I've got a quick fix for this one — labels. Yup, it's that simple. Label your autoclave with clean or dirty hands, and voila! No more guessing games. I've even made it easier for you; check out my storefront for those nifty labels that can save you from an infection control nightmare.


Time to Upgrade Your Dental Infection Control Game

In the ever-evolving world of infection control in dentistry, we can't afford to cling to outdated habits. These legacy errors might seem harmless, but they're the chinks in our infection prevention armor. It's time to level up, my fellow dental warriors!




Ready to ditch those bad habits and start the new year with compliance? I've got just the thing for you — the Level Up Infection Prevention Bundle. Or, as I like to say, my one-stop-shop to train your Infection Control Coordinator (ICC) and elevate your dental practice to new heights of safety and excellence. 


and let's kick those legacy errors to the curb!


Ultimately, it's not just about ticking off checkboxes in your clinic’s checklist; it's about creating a culture of excellence that puts patient safety at the forefront. So, my dental trailblazers, let's bid farewell to those legacy errors and embrace a future of dental infection control brilliance!


Remember, a toothache may be temporary, but the consequences of lax infection control can linger. Stay sharp, stay safe, and keep rocking that infection prevention game!

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