Nursing Matters – The Molar Mindset: the new wellbeing platform for dental nurses

Gemma Forsythe Nursing Matters

With many nurses currently feeling undervalued, Gemma Forsythe talks to a co-founder of Molar Mindset, a new platform designed to support them with their wellbeing, about the services it offers and her own experiences with her mental health.

This month I caught up with Marisa Russell, the co-founder, along with Heidi Grimwood, of The Molar Mindset.

The Molar Mindset is a new, non-profit, wellbeing platform for dental nurses. It aims to form a positive community of dental nurses which enables them to feel confident and positive.

They hope to empower dental nurses to recognise their worth and be able to open up those conversations about pay and working conditions that they may have previously found difficult to discuss.

Marisa Russell is from Brighton and qualified as a dental nurse in 2003 with the NEBDN. She has worked in the dental industry since 2001, nursing in practices and working as an assessor and tutor.

She currently works alongside Heidi Grimwood at Molar Mentoring Ltd as course coordinator and welfare and wellbeing officer.

In addition, she lives with her partner and her little boy who is four. She’s also passionate about wellbeing, reading and being out and about in nature.

A safe place

Marisa decided to come up with The Molar Mindset due to there being no wellbeing platforms for dental nurses. From working with trainee dental nurses day-to-day, Marisa recognised that one is needed. She, too, has been in that position – stressed, burnt out, suffering from low mood and anxiety etc.

When in need of support, there was no specific safe space for her as a dental nurse to turn to.

So, over the years, Marisa has learned healthy coping techniques and ways of looking after her own wellbeing. She wanted to share that with other nurses by talking about her personal experiences and guiding them towards all the resources that are available.

There is a lot of negativity surrounding dental nurses right now, not only is The Molar Mindset going to help signpost them to the services they will find beneficial, but they are also going to help them work on their positive mindset which will improve their wellbeing overall.

Nurses feel undervalued

Dental nurses have told Marisa that they feel ‘undervalued’ and ‘underpaid’ – and she would love to change this.

The Molar Mindset is very keen to encourage those who are passionate about their wellbeing to train to become ‘workplace health and wellbeing champions’. They can be the first port of call for others who may need support and signpost them to relevant services and resources.

Marisa and Heidi are planning to work with dental practices and encouraging them to invest in this idea.

There are obstacles that stand in the way of dental nurses maintaining good mental wellbeing, such as the work/life and work/life/study balance. This often makes them feel like they do not have the time to look after themselves and their wellbeing.

The Molar Mindset will work with them and show them ways around the obstacles they perceive are holding them back. Kate Rogers, who is The Molar Mindset resident life coach, NLP practitioner and hypnotherapist is also a dental nurse. Therefore, she is well placed to support everyone who joins the community.

The directory will also help them choose other services that can support them.

Speak out

Workplace bullying is another factor that can prevent dental nurses maintaining good mental wellbeing. Speak out – even if it’s to a friend at first, someone you trust.

Speaking about the problem can help ease the burden. The Molar Mindset are also happy to listen and advise where they can.

You can click here for information and guidance around workplace bullying including signposting to services such as ACAS. Every workplace should have a grievance procedure, and if an informal discussion does not resolve the issue, this should be followed.

With regards to how work places can nurture dental nurses’ wellness, Marisa thinks Practice Managers should ask the nurse what they need and support them in getting it. It might be an extra break, it might be space to study, it could be a multitude of things.

The important thing is that the dental nurse is asked and listened to. This alone will make a huge difference.

Multiple services to access

The Molar Mindset website is accessible now at It’s a work in progress, and they are currently working on the ‘directory’ in the background right now.

This will be a directory of all manner of services and resources that dental nurses can access to assist them with whatever part of their wellbeing they want support with.

They also have an instagram page that nurses can follow @themolarmindset and a Facebook page – The Molar Mindset. These are all free to access and available now.

In addition, they have a member only Facebook group that they are hoping to launch this month, so keep your eyes peeled.

Catch up with previous Nursing Matters columns:

Follow on Instagram to keep up with all the latest dental news and trends.

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar