7 Things To Know About Dental Dams

When it comes to birth control, it can seem like our options are pretty limited: condoms, the Pill, and an IUD. Those are the most popular things in the birth control category. We are all pretty familiar with condoms. You can probably name at least three random flavored condoms, and you can probably roll one onto a penis (and a hockey stick) like you’re a pro doing it in the Olympics. You’re also probably well-versed in birth control pills. I think I can repeat the entire caution and side effects labels on the box of a packet of pills without looking at it first, and I bet you can too. But what about your knowledge of dental dams?

It’s okay if the only thing going through your mind is a vague memory of you seeing the box on the shelf at the drugstore. Most people only have a vague idea of what a dental dam might be, while plenty of people have never even heard of them. Maybe you remember something awkward your health teacher said about them, but that’s it. You probably know more about the sponge than dental dams! So what are they? Dental dams are a thin piece of latex you put on the genitals when performing cunnilingus or anilingus to protect yourself from mouth-to-genital contact. Because they seem strange, dental dams just aren’t in the sexual protection spotlight as much as condoms and other forms of birth control. However, they’re an important part of safe oral sex. If you want to know more, we’ve got you covered. (Pun intended.) Here are seven things to know about dental dams.

It's The Same Thing As The Dentist

Yup, the dental dams that your dentist sometimes uses are pretty much the same as the ones you use when you're eating out down there. Just think about that sexy fact that next time you are at your regular appointment.

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They Are The Safest Way To Give Oral Sex

Dental dams are all about keeping you and your SO safe. When used properly, dental dams help protect you against nasty STIs including herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. They create a barrier between all of the fluids that can spread these diseases including pee, saliva, semen, and feces.

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There Are Different Kinds

Like condoms, there are different versions of dental dams. You can get them in a variety of colors and flavors. GLYDE has dental dams in cola, strawberry, vanilla, and even wildberry flavors. FYI: You can even get vegan ones.

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You Have To Make Sure It's On Right

There is a correct way to put on a condom and there is a correct way to put on a dental dam. Teen Health Source suggest applying a bit of water-based lube to the area you're going down on first. After you lay the dam is place, position is just right. Mold it to the body and tuck it into areas, such as the vulva. It will fit better and all of the petting will turn your partner on. Win, win.

Image source: iStock

It's For MOre Than Just Cunnilingus

Dental dams aren't strictly just for some eating vag. They can also be used for butt stuff like anilingus. They provide a barrier between your mouth and the b-hole to keep things clean.

Image source: iStock

You Can DIY Your Own

You have tons of dental dam options to buy, but Planned Parenthood points out that you can make your own out of a condom. Simply slice off the tip and elastic, cut it down the middle, and spread it out when you go down there. They say you can even use plastic wrap and some flavored lube. Reminder: It's better to be protected with a DIY version than to go without.

Image source: iStock

There Are Freebies

You can score free dental dams at some places. You probably know that your college gives out loads of free condoms, but find out whether they give out dams as well. You can also get dental dams at different sexual health clinics, either for free or a reduced cost. If you can't find any freebies, note that you can get packages where the dental dams work out to about $2 or $3 each. Check out your drugstore or online.

Image source: iStock

What did you know about dental dams? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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