My name is Kendra Flowers and I am currently a clinical dental hygienist. I want you to know this is not my story because a story has already ended, this is my journey. I search out others to inspire me but I hope to become a woman of dentistry that people look to. Compared to other women in dentistry I am new to the profession and to life as I am 33 years old. I was a pediatric dental assistant for 6 years before I went to hygiene school and I have now been a hygienist a little over 7 years. In my own eyes, I do not consider myself successful and still have a long road ahead of me. As I look back on my life and to see from where I came I only see a bright future. I have started my own company, The Tooth Fairy Review™ in which I will review dental products and services. I know If this opportunity elutes me I am meant to follow a different path.

I have been on a long journey to discover what I want to do when I “grow up”. I knew in school I was not meant to stay in the operatory and my passion could not be held back from those walls. It wasn’t until I found mentors in dental hygiene that I realized I wanted too much. Asking questions of my mentors I felt the sky was the limit and I wanted to do everything! I thought maybe I wanted to go into public health, be an educator, start a company, research, legislation, and even become a speaker. I knew I wanted to do something more, but it took me awhile to realized what I didn’t want to do.

Over the years I have been seeking out mentors, making vision boards and networking with like-minded people. Conquering a life-long goal of speaking as a professional to my peers made me uncomfortable. I am still finding my way but I see things clearer and brighter than ever. I allow my passion to guide me. When I am nervous or unsure of who I should speak to or what I should do next I let my heart take over.

Even though I have fear I am not scared. To help you understand I will reflect on the absolute worse and most difficult time in my life.  It was my three years in hygiene school. I worked so hard to get accepted and was ecstatic to be learning my new profession. My first hurdle occurred after my first semester of school. My mother unexpectedly passed away. My mother, my best friend, my biggest supporter was taken away from me and I was completely lost. I was asked many times if I was going to continue my schooling has now I had more personal repositions than ever. I felt like I had the weight of the world of my shoulders but I continued forward because that was all I had left was to move forward.

Junior year of hygiene school was even more challenging than the last. My sister required my help to run from an abusive relationship with her two young children. I survived with the help of my husband, classmates, and friends. My senior year arrived and I only had one year ahead of me.  I thought all my difficulties were in the past but a few weeks before the school year started my father passed away. I had officially become an adult orphan and as the oldest, the rock of the family at 25 years old.

Reflecting on my past I know I am the one who has made me the woman I am now. I had an extremely strong and supportive mother/woman that laid the foundation of my life and drive. Throughout my life I worked to better my financial situation and inner-self by reading books, finding mentors, taking classes, and reflecting on lessons life has taught me. I knew if I wanted to be the woman I dreamed of then it would take work, I was just waiting for a guide to teach me how to get exactly what I wanted.

We have all been through trials and tribulations in life and as I grow older and wiser I use those situations to rise from. When people ask if there was one thing you could do differently in life what would it be, my answer is always nothing. My experiences have shaped me into the person I am now and has toughened me to withstand anything life places in my path. I look back at my three years in hygiene school and know if I survived and succeeded I can do anything. I am inviting you into my life in the hopes to inspire you.

“Reflect on your most difficult moment, knowing that you survived, and use it as your stepping stone to rise to the next level.”

Kendra McKune Flowers, BSDH, RDH

SOURCEAll Photos: Kendra Flowers
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Kendra McKune Flowers has been in dentistry since she was 17 years old. She has evolved from a dental assistant, clinical dental hygienist, dental hygiene educator, speaker, and now a dental product/service reviewer. Her passion is the oral systemic health link and expanding the scope of dental hygiene practice to increase the quality of care to the public. She is currently completing her Master of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of Minnesota. Her thesis focuses on diabetes and interprofessional education. She enjoys volunteering at local and regional dental clinics and is active with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Kendra,
    First of all, I want to say, you rock, girl! I have been in your presence twice and I could sense that you are a beautiful soul. Thank you for allowing us on your journey because now that you have shared your experiences we can’t “unknow” them. You handled all of your challenges with such strength, courage, and grace. I too, lost my mother and I felt like a ship without a compass but because of the woman she raised me to be (and your mommy did the same) I was able to steer my ship through some really turbulent waters of life. I pray God’s richest blessings on your family, your personal and professional lives, and ALL that you endeavour.

  2. We may have been on the same paths in hygiene school…but you were on a completely different journey. You are so strong, so intelligent, filled with determination I never saw what you actually had to overcome. Now that I am older and wiser, and I look back at the the memories we had, you always made life better even during your toughest time. Even in the darkest skies, you were the star that shined the brightest. You always have the best advice and always said the truth. I love you! And thanks for sharing your journey!

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