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Women dentists gather in San Antonio

October 20, 2014

By Stacie Crozier

Photo of Dr. Lee-Ware
Welcome: Dr. Tawana Lee-Ware, AAWD president, welcomes women dentists to the organization's 93rd annual meeting.
Photo of Dr. Steinberg
Healthy to-do list: Dr. Barbara Steinberg discusses the importance of a healthy diet, exercise, sleep, stress relief and fun Oct. 9 during the first session of the American Association of Women Dentists Annual Meeting at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center.
San Antonio
— Dr. Barbara Steinberg led the opening program for the American Association of Women Dentists Annual Meeting Oct. 9 with some no-nonsense advice on how to put yourself first in Forever Young: Taking Care of #1.

The AAWD meeting was held in conjunction with ADA 2014 — America's Dental Meeting in San Antonio.

AAWD President Tawana Lee-Ware, a pediatric dentist in Nashville, Tennessee, introduced Dr. Steinberg, who began her course with a word of thanks to AAWD.

"It was the AAWD that gave me my chance to arrive on the national lecture circuit in 1979," Dr. Steinberg told the audience. "Before 1979, there were no female clinicians on a national program. But the AAWD took a chance on me and I will be forever grateful to this organization for giving me my start in doing what I love — speaking and teaching."

Dr. Steinberg provided an action-packed hour of tips for busy women dentists on something she said they may not be experienced at: putting their personal health concerns on their to-do list.

She told the audience she was doing something she wouldn't normally do — wearing a pink dress — to remind the audience that it was both Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, two observances designed to remind women of the importance of putting themselves first.

Her talk covered the gamut of physical, social and emotional health practices that can help women not only be healthier and happier but also to be more effective leaders.

She noted that "for us dentists, we already know the importance of brushing and flossing, but healthy eating and exercise should be automatic practices for us, just like brushing and flossing."

In addition to discussing healthful eating and exercise, she also touched on the importance of sleep, stress relief, meditation, laughter, sex and knowing how to prevent heart disease and spot the signs of a heart attack — signs that can be different in women than in men.

"Women may experience extreme fatigue, weakness and sleeplessness for a month before a myocardial infarction," she said. "This is not something men typically experience. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in all women and there are disparities across the board as far as health care for women with heart disease. Women have a higher risk of dying of heart disease than men. So we need to be educated about prevention strategies and recognizing signs and symptoms."

The day-long meeting also included a working lunch with exhibitors; Top Tips for Posterior Composites by Dr. Lee Ann Brady; See Jane Lead: What Every Woman in Dentistry Needs to Know by Amy Morgan; and the panel discussion moderated by Dr. Lee-Ware, Building Your Practice Success: How to Be a Great Leader at Every Stage of Your Practice.