Health

Dental dam- All Questions Answered

What exactly is a dental dam?

A dental dam is a small rectangular-shaped piece of material that is utilized to create a barrier between the mouth and the genitals during oral sexual intercourse.

Dental dams are said to reduce or prevent the exchange of bodily fluids hence limiting sexually transmitted infections like AIDS and syphilis.

This article will comprehensively take you over the things you need to know about a dental dam.

How a dental dam works

A dental dam works by creating a physical barrier between the mouth and the genitals during oral sexual intercourse. This comes in handy in preventing the mixing of bodily fluids hence lowering STI chances.

To use a dental dam;

  • Place it over the genitals or anus before engaging in oral sex.
  • Be sure that the dam covers the entire area and is in place. To do this, you can hold it with a finger or hand.
  • Your main goal is to avoid letting the dam come into contact with your partner’s genitals or anus, and do not reuse the dam.
  • Do not forget to discard it after use.

Note that dental dams are not a substitute for condoms when it comes to preventing STIs and unintended pregnancy. They are only intended to be used during oral sex, and they may not provide the same level of protection as condoms.

How to use a dental dam for men

Dental dams can be used by men or women during oral sex to prevent or limit transmission rates for sexually transmitted infections. To use it:

  • Choose a dental dam that is suitable for you(material, size), depending on your preferences and any allergies or sensitivities.
  • Open the package carefully to avoid damaging it.
  • Before using the dam, have a close inspection for any tears or damages. If the dam is torn or damaged, do not use it.
  • Hold the dam with your hands and place it over the genitals or anus.
  • Hold the dam in place with your hands while engaging in oral sex. Please take care not to let the dam touch your partner’s genitalia or anus during this process.
  • After using the dam, dispose of it properly by wrapping it in a tissue or piece of paper/clothing and throwing it in the trash.

Are there types of dental dams?

Like condoms, we also have different types of dental dams. The main difference is actually the material used to make it:

  1. Latex dental dams: These are made from latex rubber, which is a type of flexible, stretchy material. Latex dental dams are widely available and cheaper. However, because people are different and there are also allergies or skin-sensitive individuals, ensure you do not react to it. If you do, go for other available ones.
  2. Non-latex dental dams: These are made from materials that is not latex. These dental dams come in handy for latex-sensitive guys. They may be more expensive than others.
  3. DIY dental dams: Some people choose to make their own dental dams using condoms or gloves. To do this,
  • Cut off the tip of a condom or glove.
  • And then cut it down the side to create a rectangular shape.
  • This can be a more affordable option, but it may not be as effective as commercially made dental dams.

If you are concerned about your health, ensure you use dental dams consistently and correctly for maximum protection. It’s also a good idea to use a combination of barrier methods, such as condoms and dental dams, to further reduce the risk.

What do dental dams protect against?

Dental dams are used to protect against sexually transmitted diseases during oral sex. They create a physical barrier between the mouth and the genitals or anus, which helps to prevent the exchange of bodily fluids.

Some STIs that dental dams may help to protect against include:

  1. HIV: HIV is a virus that can be transmitted through blood and body fluids.
  2. Gonorrhea: An STI which can happen occur through oral, genital, or anal sex with a person who has gonorrhea.
  3. Chlamydia: A common STI that may not show symptoms in some individuals.
  4. Syphilis: Syphilis is another common STI.

What to do and what not to do with dental dams

Here are some things to do and not to do when using dental dams:

DOS.

  1. Use a fresh dental dam every time you engage in oral intercourse.
  2. Ensure you store dental dams correctly- read the leaflet if you are not sure how to store it.
  3. Be sure to use water-based lubricants with dental dams because oil-based lubricants might weaken the
  4. latex and make the dam more likely to break.
  5. Use a dental dam all the time if you intend to be safe.

DONT’S

  1. Avoid exposing a dental dam to heat, as that can cause them to break.
  2. Just like condoms, never reuse a dental dam.
  3. Never use a damaged dental dam.
  4. Do not use a dam that does not fit correctly.
  5. Do not use a dental dam as a substitute for condoms.
  6. Discard your dam correctly-never flush it down the toilet. Dispose of them properly by wrapping them in a tissue or piece of paper and throwing them in the trash.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dental dams better than condoms?

There is no comparison between dental dams and condoms because each plays a different role. The only thing these two have in common is that they are barriers to STDs.

It’s always a good idea to use a combination of barrier methods, such as condoms and dental dams, to further reduce the risk.

Where can I buy dental dams?

Dental dams are available at many retail stores, pharmacies, and online retailers. You can find them at stores that sell condoms and other forms of birth control, as well as at specialty stores that focus on sexual health products.

You can also purchase dental dams online from a variety of retailers. Some options include:

  • Amazon
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • The Online Drugstore

Keep in mind that prices and availability may vary depending on where you live and the retailer you choose. A quick tip is to shop around to find the best price and selection. Ensure you read reviews before purchasing dental dams to ensure the source is reputable.

If you have trouble finding dental dams or have concerns about cost, you may want to consider contacting a local family planning clinic or health department for assistance. They may be able to provide dental dams at no or low cost.

Is dental dam effective? How effective?

When used properly, dental dams are effective in preventing/ reducing the risk of common STIs such as HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea among others.

The effectiveness of dental dams depends on how they are used. To be effective, dental dams should be used consistently and correctly. This means using a new dam for each sexual encounter, covering the entire area with the dam, and holding the dam in place.

 

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