What is a Dental Dam - Learn to Add Another Layer of Protection

Illustration, dental dam over pubic area

Illustration by Dana Davenport

 

"Wear a condom when giving head."

 

… duh.

 

It’s commonplace. It’s well known. But for some reasons people don’t think about dental dams when doing down on a girl.

 

Just because it’s a woman, doesn’t mean there’s no of chlamydia, syphilis, herpes virus, gonorrhea, HPV, HIV, or other STIs that can infect the mouth or throat (or anus as well).

 

 

WHAT IS A DENTAL DAM?


 

Hand holding many dental damsIt’s a thin, square sheet of stretchy latex or polyurethane that comes in various flavors and colors.

 

And you put them over the vagina when performing oral sex.

 

They can also be used then rimming (oral sex on the anus).

 

 

Learn more about rimming here:

What is Rimming? A Simple Beginner's Guide with Tips & Techniques

 

 

WHERE CAN YOU BUY THEM?


 

The same places you buy condoms – at pharmacies, drug stores, or online.

 

But, if you can’t find one, you can cut off the end of a condom and then cut down the side to make a square(ish) shape.

 

 

Guide on how to make a dental dam from a condom

Learn how to make your own

 

 

NOTE: They are the same material and function as condoms. But they can also come with the same allergies if you’re sensitive to latex. If so, use non-latex polyurethane.

 

 

YOU CAN USE A HARNESS


 

Model wearing a specialty harnesses to hold a dental dam in place

 

There are actually special harnesses you can wear that hold the dental dam in place. They are mostly meant for extended oral sex sessions.   

 

Stockroom has a good one here.

 

 

THE CLING FLIM MYTH


 

No, you CAN NOT use plastic wrap as a substitute. It’s porous and can still let infections or diseases through.

 

If you thought about going the plastic route because you’re too embarrassed, just buy online or sneak into your local health clinic and take some of the free ones they offer. Trust me, they give zero shits that you’re in there.

 

Learn more about oral sex diseases here:

Oral Sex and STIs - What You Need to Know Before Opening Your Mouth

 

 

OTHER THINGS TO KNOW


 

  • Don’t stretch them. It risks tearsDental dam boxes in various flavors
  • You cannot reuse them. Throw them out after
  • Use water-based lubes instead
  • You cannot flush them down the toilet
  • Proper storage is important – cool and dry
  • Don’t flip them after you’ve started using them
  • Don’t use them with oil lube or other oil-based products

 

Obviously, this is more targeted for people who have several sexual partners. If you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, there might be less need to use dental dams – but getting tested during your annual physical (minimum) is a must.

 

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

 

Any other dental dam advice you want to add? Share in the comments! 

 

Also, if you want more sexual health-related articles, you might like these:

 

 

Have a safer-sex day!

Robyn

 

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