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You might be able to breathe a little easier with a cheap face mask accessory you can buy online.
This is a face bracket, a piece of silicon-grade plastic made to fit around your chin and mouth to keep your mask off your lips and nose. It lets the wearer breathe more easily, slows down how fast your mask gets wet from your own respiratory droplets and saliva, and makes it easier for others to hear what you’re saying. It even prevents makeup smudges.
Face bracket use seems to have gotten a boost after teacher Angie Madden posted about it on Facebook in late August, mostly as a tip to fellow teachers. Both teachers and non-teachers realized how useful these cheap accessories could be in school and out.
See Madden demonstrating how she wears her bracket under a mask in the video below.
Teacher tip for all my teacher friends! You have got to get one of these!!
Posted by Angie Madden on Friday, August 21, 2020
Madden responded to a comment on her post about how the bracket stays put, saying that because she wears a snug cloth mask, she doesn’t need any extra attachment. But the Amazon description suggests sewing it in or using hooks and adhesives as other ways to keep it in place.
If you’re going to use one of these accessories, make sure your mask is still fitting tightly to the sides of your face so that air and droplets can’t get in or out. You might need to size up on your mask so it can fit around the additional spacer.
“The issue with mask brackets is we need data to understand what they do to the fit and function,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore told InStyle. “A mask that no longer fits will not serve its purpose.”
What do you think? Will you try one of these face brackets out?