http://www.smile-on.com/news/news_view.php?news_id=2406 Tuesday 29th November 2005 Sex Warning For Teenagers With Braces Metal braces can scratch genital areas or rip a hole in a condom, increasing the potential for sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cautions Boston cosmetic dentist Helaine Smith. She has issued a warning to teenagers engaging in sexual practices such as oral sex or French kissing, saying they should be cautious if they or their partners wear metal braces on their teeth. Metal braces can scratch delicate genital areas, tear sensitive mouth tissues, or rip a hole in a condom. Such incidents increase the potential for sexually transmitted diseases and blood-borne pathogens, including HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, and hepatitis B and C. âMost teens and young adults donât realise that metal dental braces can do some damage,â said Dr. Smith. âAnd while new dental technologies such as Invisalign and plastic braces have been introduced, the fact is, many dentists still rely on the traditional metal braces and their nickel titanium brackets, wires, and ties. Even plastic braces still use metal wires and ties that can cause damage.â Because the metal brackets and wires can catch on the thin latex of condoms and dental dams and cause microscopic tears, Dr. Smith advises teens and young adults to carefully consider whether to engage in oral sex with partners who wear wire braces. Safer sex practices also include changing the condom before engaging in another sexual activity in order to reduce the risk of STDs and/or unintended pregnancy â even if one thinks the condom has not been damaged. Dental dams, which are also made of latex, are used when performing oral sex on a woman and protect against herpes and genital warts. Dr. Smith advises young adults to also exercise caution when participating in long kissing sessions with partners who wear braces because the brackets can tear delicate mouth tissues and increase the exposure to blood-borne pathogens and STDs such as HIV/AIDs.