Most people learn dental hygiene before they learn to tie their shoes. But once you learn how to brush and floss properly, it's up to you to keep your mouth healthy. But with the many myths about dental health out there, you could overhear false information that could harm your teeth and gums.

Learn about common dental hygiene myths in our blog post, and increase your knowledge so your mouth can stay healthy.

1. Eating Lots of Sugar is Bad for Teeth

While sugar is definitely an enemy to healthy teeth and gums, it's not necessarily the amount of sugar you eat that's the problem. What matters more? The time sugar stays on your teeth.

You can eat small amounts of sugar and still experience problems if you don't brush thoroughly or often enough. Try to get in the habit of brushing your teeth after breakfast, not before. And chew on sugar-free gum after lunch to remove sugars from your teeth if you find yourself in a pinch.

2. Sugar-Free Gum Can Replace Brushing

Sugar-free gum brushes away food particles and cleans your teeth mid-day. While sugar-free gum can help you quickly remove sugar from teeth, you shouldn't use it as a replacement for brushing altogether.

Yes, gum helps produce saliva that kills bacteria and strengthens tooth enamel. But nothing can replace the effect that toothbrush bristles and toothpaste have on teeth. By all means, keep chewing the gum. Just don't forget to brush at night-no matter how tired you are!

3. The Whiter the Teeth, the Healthier the Smile

Sugar isn't the only culprit that hurts teeth. Wrong ideas about tooth whitening can cause harm too. Many people think that whitening their smiles translates into healthier teeth and gums. However, a person with the whitest teeth can have tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease lurking below.

While you may love your pearly white smile, it's important to take care of underlying dental problems as well.

4. Flossing Just Removes Stuck Food

Another common myth about teeth is that flossing only serves to remove food from between your teeth. However, flossing does much more than save you from an embarrassing post-lunch work situation. Daily flossing also removes hidden plaque from between your teeth. This plaque, if left untouched, mixes with the acids in your mouth and destroys the enamel on your teeth. The result is cavities, gingivitis and ultimately gum disease.

You can prevent gum and tooth problems by flossing daily, even if you didn't recently eat popcorn.

5. Topical Aspirin Relieves A Toothache

Have you ever seen someone place an aspirin pill on an aching tooth to relieve the pain? A small amount of pain reliever can dissolve and get into the bloodstream through the gums. However, the best way to relieve pain with aspirin is simply to ingest it. The painkillers need to enter your bloodstream to do any good.

If your toothache persists, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a long-lasting cure.

6. I Should Stop Brushing if My Gums Bleed

Many believe that bleeding gums signifies that they are brushing too hard. But a more common cause of bleeding is inflammation. What causes this inflammation? Lack of brushing leads to plaque build-up, which irritates your gums.

 If you see your gums start to bleed, you're likely not simply brushing too hard. In fact, you should keep brushing to remove that plaque and treat the underlying problem of inflammation.

Talk to your dentist about any dental questions you may have. He or she can give you personalized advice and clear up any confusion about common dental myths.