Week 13-What is a dental dam?

November 21, 2008

Due to a technical difficulty, we were 20 minutes later than usual in providing the answer.  Sorry for the wait, and thank you for your patience!

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 dental-dam1A dental dam is a thin sheet of latex, about 10x 6 inches, originally designed for use by dentists. Dental dams are now recommended as a barrier to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections during oral sex on a woman. Tongue on one side, vulva on the other. Dental dams can also be used for rimming (oral-anal contact). Tongue on one side, anus on the other. They are available in flavors like cola, berry, vanilla…

Dental dams are more difficult to find than condoms. Check with your nearest Planned Parenthood health center or STD clinic–they generally cost between $2 and $5.

You can also use unlubricated condoms (flavored or unflavored) to create your own dental dams. Just snip off the tip with a pair of scissors, cut down one side, and stretch it out. If you are allergic to latex, look for “Hot Dams,” which are made of polyurethane, the same material used for the Female Condom and Avanti non-latex male condoms.

In a pinch, you can also use a non-microwavable food wrap such as Saran Wrap. If it’s microwavable, the same tiny holes that allow the steam to escape while microwaving will also allow the germs to escape.

When using dental dams, don’t forget the water-based lube. A little dab on the recipient’s side will increase the pleasure for everyone.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s Education Department carefully selects all weekly questions. All questions are actual inquiries made to PPNNE by college-aged students.

Should you have a question you would like to see included, please send an email to goddess@ppnne.org



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