October Theme: Self Care

Lessons Learned
by Rebecca Mowen, Well Being Program Administrator


As I sit here to write this wrap-up article about Wellness in the Dental Community, I think of how much progress I have seen throughout the Wheel Into Wellness campaign.


Highlighting the need for overall health has led to interesting discussions on stress, nutrition, meditation, ergonomics, and more … but for dental professionals the need for self-care still takes priority over all other wellness topics.  


So let’s take a journey through the lessons learned in our Wheel Into Wellness Campaign.


The No. 1 killer of dentists is stress-related cardiovascular disease, so remember these key takeaways as you care for yourself:

  • Stress does not have to lead to poor choices.

  • Preparation is the key to better nutrition.

  • Financial wellness as a state of well-being where an individual has achieved minimal financial stress.

  • Life, work and family are more enjoyable when we feel fit.

  • An easy way to return to center is simply to turn your attention to your breath.


Your professional mantra is “prevention is essential to great dental health”. You remind patients every day to brush twice for two minutes and to floss. These disciplines are less costly than a filling, extraction or root canal. The same mantra should apply to our self-care habits. Good disciplines can lead to a strong sense of wellbeing and spare us some costly missteps. When these missteps occur for us or a loved one, it’s hard but essential to ask for help before it becomes too painful.


It would be easier to ask for help when you are stressed before the stress takes you to unhealthy decisions. It’s less expensive to call and ask for resources and referrals than to wait until your health is affected or your family and practice are in jeopardy.


Please remember the Dental Well Being Foundation is here for you. Our purpose is to care for the wellbeing of our professionals and their families. I can reassure you that every problem is not a nail—so every solution is not a hammer! There are many ways to make corrections and offer support, and confidentiality is assured.


Our intent behind the Wheel Into Wellness campaign was to stir up discussion and provide some solid content on a wide range of topics that influence our sense of wellbeing. However, no one is immune from the challenges and changes in life.


Even as a trained counselor, I myself have had to dust off some self-care techniques to help me cope with the uncertainty of changes in the Well Being Foundation.  I continued with CrossFit and clean eating while grieving the loss of the Well Being Program as we knew it for many years. But I am excited to reaffirm our basic commitment to “dentists taking care of dentists” by continuing our own Voluntary Wellness Program. If you have any concerns, give me a confidential call at 314-435-1101.

Rebecca A. Mowen, LCSW, SAP, CIP, CADC, is a licensed clinical social worker in
Missouri and Illinois. She also maintains certifications as a Substance Abuse
Professional, Certified Intervention Professional and Certified Alcohol and Drug
Counselor. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville in 2000, and in 2002 her Masters in
Social Work from Saint Louis University. 
Rebecca has previous experience as
Assistant Program Coordinator with the Missouri Physicians’ Health Program
(medical counterpart to the Dental Well Being Program) and is currently in
private practice providing individual and family therapy, interventions, referral
for treatment and aftercare monitoring services.

Related Resources


Self Care for Dentists

Self Care for Dentists Workbook

Self Care: How to Cope with the Loneliness

ADA Center for Professional Success - Wellness 

There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self. 

       Aldous Huxley



Just the FACTS ...

The dental profession in North America loses the numerical equivalent of one large dental school class each year. 


The DWBF is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation created by the Missouri Dental Association.

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Missouri Dental Well Being Foundation

3340 American Ave | Jefferson City MO 65109


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