Dental Dam: how it works, use, safety


Tooth pads are thin, flexible pieces of latex or polyurethane that are used as a barrier between the mouth and the vagina or anus during oral sex . Like condoms, they are designed to protect against sexually transmitted diseases ( STDs ) and other infections and should only be used once .

Ready-to-use dental pads can be purchased online or at some pharmacies; You can also make a homemade dental pad out of a condom.

A dental pad is similar to a condom in that it is used to protect sexual partners from sexually transmitted infections, but it is designed to be used during oral sex.


Tooth pads were originally developed for use by dentists to isolate treated areas of the mouth and prevent bacterial contamination.

In the 1990s, people started using dental pads for oral sex. In 1998, the condom company Glyde USA received FDA approval for a latex dental pad intended for oral sex. This product was originally called Glyde Dam Lollyes and is now available as Sheer Glyde Dams.


Tooth pads can help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections when used during oral-vaginal sex (cunnilingus) and oral-anal sex (rimming, also known as rimming). They prevent the transmission of viruses and other microbes from one partner to another, directly or through body fluids.

Tooth pads can also act as a barrier against bacteria found in stool, such as E. coli , during oral-anal sex.


Most dental pads are made of latex. However, there are polyurethane options for people with a latex allergy . To encourage its use, some manufacturers have created scented dental pads.

Tooth pads are the most widely available on the Internet. They are sometimes sold in pharmacies of the family planning department or health departments. Regardless of where you bought them, dental pads are readily available, typically costing $ 1-2 each.

DIY dental dams

Tooth pads are not as readily available as condoms, but as a last resort, you can make your own with non-lubricated latex or polyurethane condoms ; if desired, it can be flavored :

  1. Take the condom out of the package and unfold it.
  2. Use scissors to cut off the end of the condom.
  3. Cut the rubber base of the condom.
  4. Cut the condom lengthwise from the tip to the base. Be very careful not to pierce the condom while cutting it; otherwise it will be useless.

Resist the urge to use plastic wrap as a makeshift dental filling. There is no research to show that it is effective in preventing STIs. Also, the thickness of the plastic sheeting can dull the feel.

How to use

Using a dental pad is simple: During oral-vaginal sex, the pad is laid flat on the vulva to act as a barrier between the mouth of the person performing oral sex and the vagina of the person receiving it. Also, during oral-anal sex, a dental pad is placed over the anus to create a barrier between the mouth and the anus .

Once installed, the dam must be held in place by the person performing oral sex or the person receiving it. If slipped or punctured, oral sex should be stopped immediately. Before resuming sexual activity, the uterus must be discarded and replaced with a new one. Used dental pads must be disposed of immediately.


  • Use a new tooth pad each time.

  • Check expiration date before use and follow package directions.

  • Check the latex or polyurethane for tears.

  • Apply a water-based or silicone lubricant to the side of the dental dam that is in contact with the skin to prevent breakage and improve sensation.

  • Store the dental pads in a cool, dry place.

  • Throw the pads in the trash after use or at the end of their expiration date.


  • Turn the used tooth pad over for reuse. You can still be exposed to body fluids that contain viruses or bacteria.

  • Use oil-based lubricants like baby oil, lotions, petroleum jelly, or cooking oils, as they can break the dam.

  • Stretch the dental dam as it could break.

  • Use a spermicide or use a spermicidal condom pad as this can cause irritation.


Several studies have examined the use of dental fillings to prevent STDs, but it is likely that they can significantly reduce the risk of contracting a wide range of viruses and bacteria that are known to be transmitted through oral sex, including :

The same goes for STDs associated with oral-anal sex:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Giardia or other intestinal parasites
  • E. coli and other bacteria

Get Meds Info Word

While the idea of wearing a tooth pad during oral sex may seem cumbersome or frustrating, it is not necessary if you make it part of the experience rather than a necessary precaution. If you have a partner who does not want to use a tooth pad, think carefully about how to proceed, especially if it is not a regular partner or someone you have just met. The meeting is most likely not worth risking your or their health.

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