Denise “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
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’
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