What Is a Dental Dam?

by Dental Health Directory
What Is a Dental Dam?

A dental dam is used to offer protection against any STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) that can be contracted during anal or vaginal oral sex. Besides protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can be contracted during sexual experiences involving anal or vaginal oral sex, there are other advantages of using dental dams.

One such advantage is offering a better way to cope with the smell and fluid in the anus or vagina. This is because the dental dam will prevent the teeth (and the mouth at large) from having direct contact with these parts. Read on to find out more about the place of dental dams during sex in this Dental Health Directory product post.

What Does a Dental Dam Look Like?

This product is a thin and small sheet of latex that acts as a barrier between the mouth and the vagina or anus during oral sex. As a result, it reduces the risk of people contracting sexually transmitted infections like HIV, HPV, genital herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis; as direct contact is prevented.

It is safer to use a dental dam during oral sex. It is better than exposing yourself or your partner to STIs and thereafter requiring treatment. This is why health bodies like the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) would rather you use a dental dam to protect yourself during oral sex.

Why Is It Called a Dental Dam?

The name is traced to similar dental products used to ensure the mouth is germ-free and dry during a dental procedure. However, the name has transcended dentistry and is now used for these sex-related products. By the way, it is also known as a rubber dam.

Related Read: What Is a Dental Bridge?

How to Properly Use a Dental Dam

Below are some dos and don’ts to ensure that you use rubber dams properly:

Be Mindful of the Expiry Date

Don’t use an expired rubber dam. This is why you should take care to check the expiry date before you use it.

No Reuse

Just as with condoms, don’t reuse these products. You shouldn’t even use the same latex rubber dam for another sexual area. For example, don’t use the same dental dam on the vagina and anus.

Handle with Care

These latex products are stretchy but you still need to handle them with care. This essence is to prevent them from tearing. It is also why you should not tear them with your tooth.

Proper Storage

Just as with condoms, dental dams need to be stored in a cool and dry place. This will keep them in optimal condition.

Use the Right Lubricant

Only silicone-based or water-based lubricants should be used alongside rubber dams. The use of options like lotion, baby oil, cooking oil, and petroleum jelly will reduce the dental dam’s effectiveness.

Related Read: How Much Is Dental Cleaning without Insurance?

Are There Any Safe Alternatives to Using a Dental Dam?

Are There Any Safe Alternatives to Using a Dental Dam?

A condom can also act as a dental dam. This is considering how it is also made of latex. To use a condom, you need to:

  • Cut the tail-end of the condom – That is the part where it closes up at the top
  • Cut through vertically with a scissors
  • Roll out the wrapped part until it is a square-shaped dam

Speaking of proper use of a condom or an actual dental dam for this purpose, you should only use one side. Don’t switch sides at any point during oral sex.

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