Dental dams are a tool designed for safer oral sex that have increased in popularity in recent years. In this article Condom Depot covers their use, tips, and even how to make your own dental dam.
What is a Dental Dam?
A dental dam is a small sheet of rectangular latex that acts as a protective barrier between your mouth and the vagina or anus. Originally used by dentists, as the name implies, dental dams are much like a latex condom but instead used to protect your mouth, while helping to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
If you are sexually active, using a dental dam in addition to a condom during sexual activity will reduce the risk of infection especially if you engage in cunnilingus, and anilingus (oral sex with the vagina and anus, respectively).
Dental dams can also work as an effective barrier if both you and your partner have vulvas and engage in tribadism, more colloquially known as scissoring. This can be made easier by using a dental dam belt, sold at some sex stores, or pinning it in place with a garter belt.
How To Use a Dental Dam
Using a dental dam may feel awkward at first, but they’re easy to get used to Some people may feel that using a dental dam will take away from the pleasure of oral sex , but this is not necessarily the case. Dental dams can provide a different, yet pleasurable sensation by adding flavor to your overall oral experience.
Use a new Dental Dam for each different sexual activity and private part, just like you would with a condom. If you switch back and forth from anilingus to cunilingus, or vis versa, wrap your anus and vagina in a NEW Dental Dam every time you switch.
Our staff of safer sexologists recommend trying an assorted five pack of Lixx Dental Dams, which includes one of each of the following flavors: Strawberry, Vanilla, Banana, Grape, and Mint.
- WASH any of the starch or powder off the dental dams (they can cause yeast infections).
- INSPECT for holes or tears. A good way to check it, is by holding it up to the light and checking for weak points, or by seeing if any water can pass through it while rinsing.
- Do not use any oil-based lubricants such as vaseline, olive oils, petroleum jelly, baby oil, or lotions. Oil based lubricants can break down the material (latex) of the dental dam, causing it to leak or tear. For more tips on lubricant check out our guide, ‘How to Choose a Lubricant.’
- POSITION and HOLD the dental dam over the vulva or anus during oral sex. Make sure the dam stays in place. If that’s too much trouble, some sex toy stores sell belts you can attach dental dams to, or you can use a garter belt.
- ONLY USE ONE of the dental dam and NEVER SHARE the same dental dam with your partner.
- STORE unused dental dams in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Just like with condoms, heat, friction, and sunlight can break down the material which can cause it to tear.
How to Make a Dental Dam
If you don’t have a Dental Dam handy and you are ready and roaring for some oral, you can even make your own in a pinch. Making a dental dam is very easy and takes about 30 seconds and a condom.
- Starting with a non lubricated or flavored condom, check the expiration date on the package to make certain that the condom is still good, and then feel for the air bubble to make certain that the condom hasn’t been damaged.
- Carefully remove the condom from the package and unroll it all the way.
- Cut off the tip of the condom using a pair of sharp scissors, and then throw the tip away. You may also want to cut off and discard the bottom band of the condom if you find it awkward or difficult to unroll.
- Cut down one side of the cylindrical latex tube that remains.
- You now have a latex rectangle perfect for use during oral sex!
Our staff of safer sexpert recommend enjoying the best of both worlds by purchasing a Trustex non lubricated flavored condom.