Unigloves’ Chris Wahlers waxes lyrical about caring for the "remarkable" human hand
As an exquisite piece of natural engineering, the human hand is remarkable. It is a vital and precise working organ with amazing flexibility and mechanical abilities for touch and patterns of action. It works to the commands of complex brain and sophisticated neural pathways, which sets us apart from all other living creatures. The hand has been described as the expression of the development of the brain, a direct tool to our consciousness. Science writer and expert in evolution Carl Zimmer described this perfectly when stating, “The hand is where the mind meets the world.”
Compared with primates that are anatomically similar to humans, we have relatively shorter palms and fingers but longer, stronger thumbs than apes. Our thumbs are positioned opposite the four fingers, which can also be individually controlled to a greater degree than other animals. This gives us unparalleled dexterity with enormous versatility, enabling humans to carry out tasks that require both fine motor co-ordination as well as deep visceral strength.
Humans are able to hold, grip and differentiate tactile sensations. The fingertips have tiny papillary ridges, which act as friction pads along with touch, temperature and pressure receptors for optimal sensitivity and delicate and intricate hand movements. In his writings, Aristotle makes a pertinent point, when he describes the hand as “the tool of all tools.”
Of the many tools that dental professions use to examine, treat, restore and manipulate the teeth and tissues, the hands are undoubtedly the most useful in the armamentarium. They work hard every day, with great dexterity, ability and sensitivity to make the subtle micro-movements that involved in dentistry. However, when the hand or wrists are not in a neutral position there is the potential for hand injury.
Interestingly, a study conducted by dental students revealed that repetitive movements of the hand and wrist, especially with the hand in “pinch” position, seem detrimental in terms of muscle load and stress. This is why it is important to invest in suitable, well-fitting examination gloves, not just from an infection control point of view but also to prevent hand fatigue, cramping, strain, pain and anything that restricts mobility or impairs dexterity.
If gloves are too small or short, they can restrict the blood flow, constrict the soft tissue in the palm or the wrist and reduce flexibility. They can cause cramping, hand fatigue and perspiration. If a glove is too large or loose it can feel uncomfortable and awkward but also reduces the sensitivity of the fingertips and the ability to grip, leading to impaired efficiency and additional strain on the hands. Dental professionals need high quality examination gloves that support and protect the hands and allow freedom of movement. Unigloves, experts in the manufacture of single use gloves, have developed the Vitality range for this specific purpose. They are experts in the care of wearers’ hands and this range is available in a variety of sizes to ensure the most suitable and comfortable fit.
Vitality gloves are made from premium quality latex or nitrile manufactured to provide unrivalled barrier protection. They feature a fully micro-roughened surface for optimal grip and have double chlorinated beaded cuffs to make them easy to take on and off. For an added bonus, Unigloves also coats the internal surface of each glove with a soothing Lano-E moisturiser to keep the skin healthy.
As organs of performance, responsible for our actions, expressions and abilities our hands are vital and should be cared for accordingly.
Chris Wahlers is a co-owner and director at Unigloves (UK) Limited, the UK distribution arm of the UG Healthcare Group, an established manufacturer and distributor of disposable examination gloves and other medical and PPE products.
UG Healthcare Group owns manufacturing facilities in the Far East and has marketing and distribution offices in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australasia.
For more information about Unigloves products, visit www.unigloves.co.uk