What are dental dams? 

Dental dams are a great way to protect yourself during oral sex. They’re thin squares of latex that you can place over your partner’s genitals during oral sex.

Um, how do I use that?

You can use a dental dam to cover a vagina or an anus while performing oral sex. The latex is thin enough that the sensation will still get through, but it will still protect you from bacteria, parasites, and STDs.

When using a dental dam, you’ll hold it firmly with both hands across your partner’s genitals. Don’t flip over it or move it too far, or you risk coming into contact with fluid that could contain bacteria or parasites. You should not use a dental dam more than once, and you shouldn’t use one with any tears or rips in it.

Why should I use it?

You might think that barrier methods such as condoms and dental dams might not be necessary during oral sex because there’s no risk of pregnancy, but you can still get an infection or an STD.

Dental dams are a good barrier method for oral sex because they’re designed for it – some are even flavored. However, you can cut a condom or a latex glove into a square and achieve the same protection. Some people use plastic wrap as makeshift dental dams, but this isn’t necessarily recommended because some plastic wrap can be porous, which could allow bacteria to get through.

Also, while we’re talking about oral sex, if your partner has a penis, infections can be passed from mouth to penis or penis to mouth, so it’s recommended that you use a condom.

Dental dams aren’t always available in the condom sections of stores, but they are available online.

  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Tips for using condoms and dental dams.” Veterans Affairs. U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. March 2016. Web.
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