Adams School of Dentistry: Infection Control Manual - Chapter 06: Clinical Attire & Hygiene

General Guidelines

  1. All providers of patient care are required to wear clean clothing each day in clinical areas.
  2. Students are required to adhere to the dress code outlines in the Adams School of Dentistry: Dress Code Policy
  3. Clinical attire that has been penetrated or visibly soiled with blood and/or other potentially infectious materials must be changed immediately.
  4. Disposable gowns are to be discarded in the nearest biohazard trashcan
  5. Reusable gowns are to be discarded in approved, identified receptacles
  6. All Adams School of Dentistry (ASOD) personnel that work primarily in direct patient care, laboratories, or research focused area are required to wear closed-toe and closed-back shoes, preferably all leather for ease of cleaning. Some mesh material on shoe sides is permissible, provided it does not reduce overall protection. Open toe shoes are not permitted in these areas at any point.

Personal Hygiene

All ASOD personnel are expected to bathe daily, use deodorant, refrain from heavily scented products, and must cannot smell of smoke.

Hair / Facial Hair

Hairstyles must be neat, controlled, off the face, and out of the field of operation. Longer hair is to be styled up or back, so that it does not fall forward of the ears. Bobby pins, hair ties, headbands, reusable scrub caps, and any other adornment should reflect a professional appearance. Neatly trimmed beards, mustaches, and stubble is permitted, except in areas that require the use of an N-95 or respirator.

Personal Adornment

Makeup is expected to be kept to a minimum, with a natural appearance, avoiding the heavy use of eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, and lipstick. Use of cologne, perfume, and scented lotions, are to be limited as to not potentially trigger allergies or other respiratory responses.

Tattoos and other permanent, decorative, body ornamentations are permitted. Exceptions to this include, but are not limited to, violations of established policies (i.e., Dress Code), or is regarded as offensive or harassing towards students, faculty, or the general public. Defining offensive or harassing can be determined with assistance from ASOD Human Resources and/or the University's “Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct Including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Interpersonal Violence and Stalking.”


All jewelry must remain unobtrusive and not inhibit putting on or removing any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). All earrings are limited to studs and it is strongly encouraged that ring usage be limited, with preference to simple bands that are removed periodically during hand hygiene. Wristwatches are permitted, provided that gowns are able to appropriately cover and protect the wristwatch.

Hands / Fingernails

  1. Nails must be short, clean, and should not extend over the fingertips when observed from the palm side, while also not inhibiting putting on or removing any​​​​​​​ PPE.
  2. Use of artificial nails is strongly discouraged as they have been implicated in microorganism and disease transmission from workers to patients.
  3. Use of non-gel based, light-cured nail polish is strongly discouraged as chipped nail polish has been documented to harbor greater levels of bacteria and put the provider at risk. If chipped nail polish is visible, the polish must be removed before any work is completed in clinical or laboratory areas. Additionally, the use of any red nail polish is strongly discouraged as this may interfere with the ability to determine glove integrity.
  4. Water-based, non-scented lotions are strongly recommended, due to frequent hand washes. Scented lotions are strongly discouraged due to possible sensitivities. Petroleum-based hand lotions are also discouraged as this accelerates the use-life of standard nitrile gloves.

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Article ID: 139922
Sun 6/5/22 3:43 PM
Mon 3/4/24 2:25 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Adams School of Dentistry
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Director of Clinical Compliance
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
06/07/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
03/04/2024 2:24 PM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
03/04/2024 2:24 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
06/07/2022 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
05/18/2020 12:10 PM