Dental dams may not be trending across social media but could this lesser-known barrier method be a good option for you?
A dental dam is a thin, stretchy piece of latex or polyurethane that can be used during oral sex to reduce the risk of STI’s (kind of like a giant, flat condom without the lube). They’re often just called dams, but are sometimes referred to as oral dams, rubber dams, or barrier sheets.
Originally designed by dentists (hence the name), dental dams are a really good safe sex option if you’re giving or receiving oral-vaginal or oral-anal sex.
Don’t worry, dental dams are super thin, so you’ll still be able to feel everything!
When used the right way, dental dams form a physical barrier between the mouth and the genitals, offering you a layer of protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Using a dental dam is super simple. To make it even easier, we’ve put together a couple of steps to point you in the right direction.
Before you get started
Remember, like external condoms, dental dams are single-use and should not be reused.
If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard much (if anything) about dental dams before or why you’ve never noticed them in the condom/lube section of your local supermarket/chemist, you’re not alone.
For some reason (likely because not many people know about them), dental dams can be hard to come by in physical stores in Australia and typically can only be found in sex shops. The good news is, they’re readily available to purchase online and come in a variety of flavours and colours.
Heads up (get it?), not only can dental dams be hard to find, but they’re usually more expensive than external condoms too. Luckily for you, we’ve put together the ultimate dental dam DIY that will have you transforming a run of the mill, external condom into a dental dam in just a few seconds!
If you’re having trouble finding a dental dam or they don’t fit into your budget, try this:
For each dam, you will need:
Now, follow these simple steps
As tempting as it may be to prep a bunch of DIY dams ahead of time, we’d suggest making them just before you are going to use it to ensure it stays clean and sanitary.
No, while dental dams and internal condoms (sometimes referred to as female condoms) both offer barrier protection against STIs, they are different. A dental dam is a thin sheet placed over the genitals during oral sex. On the other hand, an internal condom is worn inside the vagina during penetrative vaginal sex.
Just like condoms, you should store dental dams in a cool, dry place and always check the expiry date before use.
Yes, dental dams can be used with or without lube, it comes down to personal preference. Some people like to use flavoured lubricants to avoid the taste of latex/plastic. However, make sure you only use water or silicone-based lubes as oil-based options can damage the dam.
No, dental dams should not be reused. It’s important that you use a new dental dam for each person. and dispose of any used dams in the bin (never flush them down the toilet!)
We wouldn’t recommend it. Dental dams are mostly used for oral sex on the vagina or anus. While using a dental dam for oral sex on a penis may provide some sort of barrier, it may not cover the whole area. For oral sex on a penis, we’d suggest using an external condom instead.
We don’t recommend it. There are some suggestions online that you can use cling wrap or rubber gloves as a dental dam but there’s no scientific research to prove that these have the same effectiveness as condoms.