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Research Guides

Science Literacy Week 2017

An annual nationwide festival of science taking place Sept 18-24, 2017 - events at UofT Libraries and UofT

Read Science... all over University of Toronto Libraries!

For Science Literacy 2017, University of Toronto Libraries will be hosting a wide variety of book and other reading material displays inspired by this year’s theme "Science in a Post-Truth Era":

Science Fact or Fiction - Gerstein Science Information Centre

OISE Library - Indigenous Contributions to STEM

How do we Interpret Science in the Post-Truth Era is it Truth? Fiction? or Subjective? - John M. Kelly Library

How do Scientists Interpret Religion? - John M. Kelly Library

Dentistry Library - Mouth Myths

Inspired by the Nova Scotia Dental Association's Healthyteeth website, below are Mouth Myths, some common misconceptions about dentistry. For each there are a few references that debunk the myth. Enjoy!

BrushingMyth: A harder brush is a better brush

False. Research found brushing force to be statistically significant in plaque removal when the brushing time is under 2 minutes (McCracken, 2003). However, as brushing time increases, brushing force was not more significant in removing PI. If we brush for 2 minutes or more we can brush softly and it will get the job done!


Myth: Cavities on baby teeth don’t matter

False. Early childhood caries (ECC) are a major public health problem and are the most prevalent chronic disease in children (Piva et al., 2017). ECC is caused by different genotypes of S. mutans found in saliva and dental biofilms (Valdez et al., 2017).  The prevalence of ECC has also been associate with social, biological and behavior factors such as parental education level and mothers returning to work in the first two years of the child’s life (Piva et al., 2017). Children who are abused or neglected are more prone to ECC than the rest of the under 5 year population in Toronto (Valencia-Rojas et al., 2008). For these reasons, ECC should not be overlooked and children should visit the dentist regularly to have ECC treated as soon as possible

Myth: It’s too late for braces

False. It’s not too late for adults to receive orthodontic treatment! Although it is true that most patients undergo orthodontic treatment in childhood and adolescence, adults can also successfully receive treatment for malocclusion and impacted teeth (Becker et al., 2003). In a study of 1653 adult patients who received orthodontic treatment between 1993 and 2009, 82.9% of patients reported a good or acceptable outcome after their treatment (Klaus et al., 2017). 

Myth: Have a baby, lose a tooth

False. The calcium that develops the baby’s teeth comes from diet intake, not from the mother’s teeth. It is important to eat calcium-rich meals or take a supplement to ensure that both mother and baby have enough calcium (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008). However, there are some indirect relationships between pregnancy and toothloss, such as hormonal exposure related to periodontitis, poor dental care utilization during pregnancy and a decrease of dental insurance coverage (Russell, 2008).   It is important that the mother maintain good oral health during pregnancy. Dentists can help. Giglio et al. provide a good overview of oral health care for pregnant patients (2009).

Myth: My kid doesn’t eat that much sugar

May be true. Sugars consumed by children are often hidden in sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) (Paes, 2017), and may go unnoticed by parents. Sugar consumption is a cause of childhood obesity, which is expected to rise from 4.2% in 1990 to 9.1% by 2020 (Paes, 2017). The good news is, oral health professionals have an opportunity to engage with interprofessional teams, and play an active role in the prevention and management of SSB consumption (Mallonee, 2017). A recent scoping review identified and reviewed literature discussing the skills and tools required by health professionals to guide dietary changes in children and their parents (Mallonee, 2017).


bright smileMyth: Whiter teeth are healthier teeth

False. In recent years, the demand for whiter teeth has increased (Bruhn, 2012; Meireles, 2013). This is due in part by perceptions of white teeth being more attractive and healthier (Khalid, 2015). Tooth whitening is safe and effective, but there are risks associated with it that users should be aware of (Carey, 2014). A study on tooth whitening found patient satisfaction increased with whiter teeth (Bruhn, 2012). Whitening products however, may also increase tooth sensitivity (Meireles, 2013). It is recommended that tooth whitening always be done under the guidance of a dentist. 



Becker, A., Chaushu, S. (2003). Success rate and duration of orthodontic treatment for adult patients with palatally impacted canines. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 124:509-514. Available from 

Bruhn, A.M., Darby, M.L., McCombs, G.B., Lynch, C.M. (2012)Vital tooth whitening effects on oral health-related quality of life in older adults. The Journal of Dental Hygiene 86(3): 239-247. Available from

Carey, C.M., Tooth Whitening: What we now know. Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice 145: 70-76. Available from

Giglio, J.A., Lanni, S.M., Laskin, D.M., Giglio, N.W. (2009). Oral health care for the pregnant patient. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, 75(1):43-48. Available from

Khalid, A., Quinonez, C. Straight, white teeth as a social prerogative. Sociology of Health & Illness 37(5): 782-796. Available from 

Klaus, K., Stark, P., Serbesis, T.S.P., Pancherz, H., Ruf, S. (2017). Excellent versus unacceptable orthodontic results: influencing factors. European Journal of Orthodontics, 2017, 1-7. Available from

Mallonee, L.F., Boyd, L.D., Stegeman, C. (2017). A scoping review of skills and tools oral health professionals need to engage children and parents in dietary changes to prevent childhood obesity and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 77 (2017): S128-S135. Available from

McCracken, G.I., Janssen, J., Swan, M., Steen, N. de Jager, M., Heasman, P.A. (2003). Effect of brushing force and time on plaque removal using a powered toothbrush. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 30:409-413. Available from 

Meireles, S.S., Goettems, M.L., Dantas, R.V.F., Della Bona, A., Santos, I.S., Demarco, F.F. (2014) Changes in oral health related quality of life after dental bleaching in a double-blind randomized clinical trial. Journal of Dentistry 12: 114-121. Available from

Paes, V.M., Hesketh, K., O’Malley, C., Summerbell, C., Griffin, S., van Sluijs, E.M.F., Ong, K.K., Lakshman, R. (2015). Determinants of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in young children: a systematic review. Obesity Reviews, 16:903-913

Piva, F., Pereira, J.T., Luz, P.B., Hashizume, L.N., Hugo, F.N., de Araujo, F.B. (2017). A longitudinal stuy of Earch Childhood Caries and associated factors in Brazilian children. Brazilian Dental Journal 28(2): 241-248. Available from

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Common questions about oral health. Retrieved on September 15, 2017 from

Russell, S.L. Ickovics, J.R., Yaffee, R.A. (2008). Exploring potential pathways between parity and tooth loss among American women. American Journal of Public Health98(7): 1263-1270. Available from

Valdez, R.M.A., Duque, C., Ciaffa, K.S., dos Santos, V.R., Loesch, M.L. de A., Colombo, N.H., Arthur, R.A., Negrini, C., Boriollo, M.F.G., Delbem, A.C. (2017). Genotypic diversity and phenotypic traits of Streptococcus mutans isolates and their relation to severity of early childhood caries. BMC Oral Health 17:115. Available from

Valencia-Rojas, N., Lawrence, H.P., Goodman, D. (2008). Prevalence of Early Childhood Caries in a population of children with history of maltreatment. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 68(2): 94-101. Available from

UTSC Library - Science in a 'Post-Truth' Era

Science in a Post-Truth Era: Topics in Engineering