Bulletin of Dental Education

ADEA Remembers Dental Hygiene Educator Who Helped Shape Dental Hygiene Industry

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Bowen Obit PhotoDenise “Nina” Bowen, RDH, M.S., age 64, passed away on Feb. 17 with loved ones by her side, following a brief illness.

People throughout the world know when it’s time to replace their worn toothbrushes due in large part to Ms. Bowen’s ingenuity. She helped create the Oral-B “Indicator” toothbrush—its blue bristles fade half way to white, letting you know when it’s time to replace your toothbrush.

Ms. Bowen joined Idaho State University’s dental hygiene program in 1976, when the department only had three full-time faculty members. She assisted in writing a grant that doubled the size of the department by the end of the decade. Ms. Bowen eventually chaired the department for 12 years, and assisted in writing the original proposal that led to the creation of the school’s dental hygiene online graduate program.

Ms. Bowen was well recognized for her achievements by her colleagues in the dental hygiene profession. She received the Idaho State University Outstanding Researcher Award and the Professional Achievement award from Idaho State University, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Idaho Dental Hygienists’ Association.

Ms. Bowen’s professional accomplishments, both in the United States and abroad, made her a true icon in her profession. She flew to China, Russia and several developing nations to help establish dental hygiene programs. And two days before her death, she learned that plans are underway to publish the fifth edition of Dental Hygiene: Theory and Practice, a book she helped author that’s described as the quintessential text for dental hygiene students throughout the country.

Published on March 13, 2019

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