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Dental Dams

Dental dams are thin sheets placed over the vagina or anus during oral sex to protect against STIs.​ Dental dams are typically made of latex, but those with latex allergies can opt for polyurethane condoms.​


Condoms and dental dams are the only barrier methods that can prevent STIs. When used properly, dental dams are highly effective in protecting you from STIs.​


Always Use Lube


Many dental dams come pre-lubricated. However, ALWAYS use extra lubricant to prevent breakage. Make sure to use water or silicone-based lube. Oil-based products will cause the dental dam to break.


How to Use a Dental Dam


Diagram of how to use a dental dam
Diagram of how to use a dental dam (Image Source: PRISM FL, Inc / Amelia St. Peter)

  1. Check the expiration date on the package. Expired dental dams are not effective in preventing STIs.

  2. Carefully open the package and remove the dental dam.

  3. Check to make sure there are no tears or defects in the dental dam.

  4. Place the dental dam over the opening of the vagina or anus

  5. After oral sex, remove the dental dam and throw it away.


Turning a Condom into a Dental Dam


Diagram of how to make a dental dam from a condom
Diagram of how to make a dental dam from a condom (Image Source: PRISM FL, Inc / Amelia St. Peter)

  1. Check the expiration date on the package. Expired condoms are not effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs.

  2. Check to make sure there are no tears or defects in the condom.

  3. Carefully open the package and remove the condom.

  4. Cut the tip and bottom off of the condom.

  5. Cut down the side of the condom.

  6. Place the condom over the opening of the vagina or anus

  7. After oral sex, remove the condom and throw it away.


Safety Practices


  • Don't stretch a dental dam, as this can cause the dental dam to tear.

  • NEVER reuse a dental dam; This includes flipping the dental dam over to use the other side

  • Dental dams are not effective after use

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