What are Dental Dams?

 Dental dams are a barrier method that can protect against HIV and other STDs. Dental dams are used during oral-vaginal sex and oral-anal sex since these types of sex can spread STDs through vaginal fluid or blood exchange if one of the partners is infected.

Dental dams are usually made from latex (although latex-free kinds are available for those with latex allergies). Usually, dental dams consist of a small square or rectangle of material and are designed for single use.

During oral sex, dental dams should be placed between your mouth and the vagina. During anal sex, dental dams are placed between your mouth and the anus as a barrier that could also help protect against parasites.

Dental dams should only be used one time and on one area of the body before being thrown away. You should never flip (or turn over) already used dental dams because that could result in the exchange of body fluids. Dental dams can also be used with lubricants for increased sensation. You can also put a bit of lubricant (that isn’t oil based) on the side of the dental dam that touches the skin to keep the latex from sticking. Companies have also created flavored dental dams as a way to encourage their use.