Many of us may often neglect our oral health; brushing once in the morning and once at night is usually the bare minimum. Now, you may have heard some rumours going around about how you should (or shouldn\u2019t) care for your pearly whites. But are they fact or fiction? Fret not. Let us help you as we debunk the top ten dental myths. Prepare to be surprised. Common Dental Health Myths Debunked Myth 1: Brushing Harder Equals Cleaner Teeth You\u2019ve probably been to someone\u2019s bathroom and seen their toothbrush, wondering why it looks like they\u2019ve been using it as a toilet cleaner. While it\u2019s impossible to keep your main dental cleaning equipment looking pristine, it shouldn\u2019t look like a chewed up toy. You should not be scrubbing away at your teeth like you\u2019re trying to start a fire. Aggressive brushing will not make your teeth any cleaner, despite popular misconception. It will not make your teeth look whiter either. Which brings us to the next myth. Myth 2: Yellow Teeth Are Dirty Teeth The yellow part of your teeth doesn\u2019t mean that your teeth are gross. It just means you\u2019ve lived a long and indulgent life of good food. Ingesting things like tea, wine, colas, potatoes and apples can stain the enamel on your teeth. As you age, this enamel coating wears off, further making your teeth look discoloured. If you\u2019re a fan of coffee, you\u2019ll likely have some darker brownish discolouration too. Thankfully though, you can get them professionally whitened if you have some extra ringgits to spare. And no, teeth whitening won\u2019t damage your pearly whites. Myth 3: Teeth Whitening Is a Cardinal Sin Teeth whitening used to be called bleaching, which is where the negative connotations of the practice probably arose. People immediately flinch at the word 'bleach' even though they don\u2019t actually use industrial cleaning bleach in teeth whitening procedures. While many teeth whitening kits contain hydrogen peroxide, there are also those that don\u2019t. You can easily get them online or at a pharmacy, but beware. Some of them may not be legit and can cause damage to your gums and teeth. So always enlist professional help if you decide to go through with it. However, do discuss with your dentists first if you\u2019re pregnant. Myth 4: You Don\u2019t Need to Floss Let\u2019s be honest, we all probably know by now that we need to floss. It\u2019s just that many of us may be too lazy to do it, or perhaps feel uncomfortable. But flossing is more important than you think, especially in preventing cavities. It helps more since it gets into all those nooks and crannies that a toothbrush simply can\u2019t reach. These gaps are where food particles linger and where bacteria can grow and proliferate. The more bacteria growth in these areas, the easier it is for you to get tooth decay. Hence, you should be flossing at least once a day. Brushing alone is usually not enough to properly clean your teeth. So start flossing. If not every day, then at the very least once every other day. And if flossing using regular string floss is too cumbersome for you, use a floss pick instead. Myth 5: Mouthwash Is Good Enough Mouthwash alone is a poor substitute for brushing and flossing. Yet many of us may be guilty of getting by with just the occasional quick gargle here and there. Now, this is not to say that mouthwash doesn\u2019t have its benefits. On the contrary, when supplemented with other oral hygiene practices, mouthwash can keep your teeth clean and your breath smelling fresh. The alcohol in mouthwash (if applicable in the type you use) also gets rid of bacteria and other nasty stuff on your gums and tongue. Mouthwash also helps protect your enamel, so using it has some bonuses. But you should still regularly brush and floss because mouthwash won't get rid of food particles. Myth 6: Sugar Causes Cavities Any food, whether it contains sugar or not, will rot your teeth if you don\u2019t brush regularly. However, carbohydrates in particular are like catnip to bacteria. They proliferate faster and easier if you have lingering traces of bread, rice, and yes, candy, on your teeth. The bacteria themselves don\u2019t cause cavities (bacteria don\u2019t eat your teeth). It\u2019s the acidic by-product of their digestive process (in other words, their poo) that rots your teeth. That\u2019s why it\u2019s important to brush your teeth before bed and in the morning when you wake up. To get rid of the food particles that may still be lingering in between your teeth and the bacterial 'by-product'. Myth 7: Dentists Are Only for Emergencies Don\u2019t wait until you get a toothache before you go to the dentist. It may bring back some dark memories from your tortured childhood, but getting your teeth checked at least once a year is important. Not only for your dental health but for your overall wellbeing. Some conditions in the body manifest in the mouth, which can easily be identified by a dentist. These may include anything from cancer to diabetes, or anaemia. Which brings us to the next myth. Myth 8: Your Dental Health Isn\u2019t Important Aside from being a warning system for illnesses that you may potentially have, your oral health also affects the rest of your body in many ways. Good oral health maintains your overall health, and the opposite is also true. Poor oral hygiene can result in a wealth of diseases that you really don\u2019t want to deal with. Some examples include heart disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, infertility and even pregnancy issues. Myth 9: Braces Are for Kids Braces are a dental tool that can help with various structural problems with your teeth, from crowding to crookedness to misalignment. So if you\u2019re a grown up, it\u2019s still not too late to start getting braces. However, if the thought of getting metal fixtures and wires installed in your mouth makes you squeamish, you can opt for other alternatives. One of them is clear aligners. Maintain Good Oral Health It may be hard to believe how much our teeth affect and influence our overall health. So you can see now why it\u2019s important to dispel these dental health myths. The public needs to be properly educated about their oral care so that we can hopefully keep our population healthy and happy. Aside from taking care of your own oral health, you should also teach your kids some healthy dental habits. It\u2019s important that you protect your kids\u2019 teeth while they\u2019re young to prevent any problems in the future. With some luck and a little diligence, you and your family will have a long and happy future of perfect smiles and perfect health. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!