How to turn 3 everyday items into a dental dam, from gloves to plastic wrap

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  • Dental dams are thin pieces of latex you can use as a barrier during sex to prevent STIs. They are typically used on people with vulvas during oral sex. 
  • If you don't have one handy, fear not. Insider compiled a list of three household items you can use as a dental dam in a pinch. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dental dams, thin pieces of latex you can lay over genitals during oral sex, are as effective as condoms in preventing the spread of STIs when properly used. 

They are normally used for oral sex with people with vulvas or oral sex on anuses and are associated with queer sex but can be used by anyone of any gender and sexuality. 

If you don't have one handy and find yourself in a predicament in which you need a dental dam, here are three household items you can use as easy alternatives to make sure your sex is safe. 

Cutting a non-lubricated condom down the middle

Crystal Cox/Business Insider

If you have a non-lubricated condom, you can slice up the side of the condom, cut the tip-off, and lay it flat on your genitals or your partner's. 

Avoid latex condoms if you or your partner have an allergy to latex. 

Slicing a glove in half can be great for people with a micropenis or an enlarged clitoris

Serhii Hudak/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Latex gloves, or an alternative body-safe glove for those with allergies, can be another safe alternative you can cut up into a dental dam. 

Slice off all the fingers except for the thumb and then slice from the wrist to the top of the glove on the pinky finger side, as demonstrated in this video.

Leaving the thumb intact can be great for people with clitoral growth from taking testosterone because it creates a mini condom for them. 

Non-porous plastic wrap can be cut into a square and layered over genitals if you don't have a condom or glove handy

As a last resort, if your house is devoid of any medical supplies you can turn into a dental dam, saran wrap will do. 

The plastic wrap you use should be non-porous plastic wrap, preferably the kind you can't microwave because those tend to develop tiny holes that can allow fluids through. 

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