Dental dams are small, thin, square pieces of latex used to protect the throat during certain kinds of dental work. They can also be placed on the vulva or the anus when the mouth, lips, or tongue are used to sexually arouse a partner.
Like the condom, dams keep partners’ body fluids out of each other’s bodies. They also prevent skin-to-skin contact. A special kind of dam, the Sheer Glyde dam, has been approved by the FDA especially for safer sex. Like dental dams, Sheer Glyde dams are available online, in some drugstores, and at many Planned Parenthood health centers.
If Sheer Glyde dams or dental dams aren’t handy, you can use plastic wrap or a cut-open condom.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was adapted from PlannedParenthood.org, a website that provides education about reproductive and sexual health.