What Are Dental Dams? A Beginner’s Guide & Safe Oral Sex Tips

What are dental dams and how do you use them? That’s exactly why I wanted to write this dental dams beginner’s guide. Dental dams are an adult and sex product that is quite often misunderstood. They are also under represented and not often talked about, even in sex blogging and sexual advice circles. It took some digging to find a sexual supplies shop on the internet that sold them at all – however, they are out there. By the end of this article you will understand their role in sex as well as how you can obtain some for yourself.

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What Are Dental Dams?

Firstly, we’re not talking about expressing surprise when you realise you need a filling. Damn! Dental dams are very thin pieces of latex, or sometimes non-porous and non-transmissible non-latex material in a rectangular shape. Dental dams were originally used in dental work, hence the origin of their name. The thin sheet of latex would be placed over the patient’s mouth and the tooth worked on put in an isolation zone where saliva couldn’t interact or contaminate the relevant area.

Why You Should Use Them

In this enlightened time of safe sex, one might choose to use dental dams when engaging in various sexual activities with partners of unknown previous sexual history or current sexual health. In other words, a new partner or a one night stand. They might be used when sorting out a new fuck buddy, or ‘friends with benefits’ – and you’re not really at the stage of flinging yourself head first into a lifelong commitment nor have you asked them to get checked out at the local STI clinic. You may not have handed over your ‘sexual history papers’ for inspection either.

It happens, and we all know it. You’re on a night out and you pull that hot piece of ass you’ve been eyeing up all night. Or perhaps you’ve hooked up with someone who’s been a friend for a while, and you’re suddenly in sex territory rather than sharing an afternoon on the Xbox. Whatever the case may be, it frequently occurs that two (or sometimes more!) people are in the right frame of mind for sexual fun but it’s not exactly conducive to the atmos to whack out a home STI kit.

How To Use Them

Now we’ve answered “What are dental dams?”, it’s time to look at how you use them. The thin sheet of latex (or other, similar but non-latex) material is placed over the woman’s vulva region or over the sexual partner’s anal area before performing oral sex on the woman or before rimming (performing oral stimulation) on the male or female’s anal area and entrance.

Consequently, there is a barrier form of protection between the stimulation giver’s mouth and the recipient’s genital regions. As a result, there is a prevention of the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

What Are The Risks If You Don’t?

When performing cunnilingus (oral sex, for these purposes on a woman) or rimming (oral sex to the anal area of a man or woman) with a partner who is new to you and/or you don’t know their sexual history, there’s a risk of transmitting sexual infections if you don’t use a barrier method of protection.

Cunnilingus (oral sex, for this purpose we’re talking about on a woman) carries notably less risk of transmitting STI’s than performing rimming. Rimming is the anal stimulation to either gender using the mouth. Furthermore, there is an increased risk of passing hepatitis A as well as many other illnesses due to bacteria and parasites in this way.


You could make your own dental dams at home, using ordinary condoms. This is done by snipping the end off a condom and slicing up through one side of the resulting cylinder, then open out into a flat piece of latex (or similar non-latex material). However, condoms are usually pre-treated with lubricant and sometimes a nasty tasting spermicide.

Dental dams aren’t overly expensive and they can be bought discreetly online. In addition, they’re slightly larger than condom packets but still flat, so you could keep a couple in your wallet or handbag when you go out.

I had great fun exploring these for my research into the question “What are dental dams?” – and even trying them out, as you can see. The material is thin and dry. They are not like the slipperiness of a condom, which would be icky to use over the mouth during sex. You can even get flavoured dental dams to add some extra fun to your oral sex and rimming sessions.

Buy Yours

Buy your dental dams in a variety of styles and flavours:

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