Callum Wilson's first goal in almost a year, following a serious knee injury which ended his promising start to last season, secured a 1-0 victory over West Brom.
"It was a big moment for him," said Howe
"You could see that with the celebration with all his team-mates.
"It's been a long road for Callum
I think it's everything for him when that's what you do, you score goals
You don't feel like you are considered back to being fit until you are scoring goals again.
"You have to remember that when he suffered the injury he was probably at the peak of his career
He was looking red hot for us and then he's had to watch the team doing well in the Premier League without him
So it was a very good day for him individually."
Bournemouth had dominated possession, although West Brom had created the better chances, when Wilshere was called upon after 63 minutes.
Artur Boruc had made fine saves from Saido Berahino, twice, and Gareth McAuley when Howe sent on his shock deadline-day loan signing from Arsenal.
Wilshere has not completed 90 minutes for the Gunners in almost two years due to a string of injuries.
But his presence gave his tiring team-mates a lift and with 11 minutes to go Adam Smith's cross was flicked in by Wilson to give Bournemouth their first win of the season.
"Jack gave us a foothold, which we had lost, and I thought he was terrific," added Howe.
"It wasn't difficult to start him on the bench after looking at the training data
We felt half an hour was a good call for him today.
"What we don't want to do is push him too early
The key objective is we want him fit and available all season, and if we do that then you could see today what a player we have on our hands."
West Brom is not exactly a happy ship at the moment, although a takeover by a Chinese consortium is set to be completed next week.
Fans are disgruntled and manager Tony Pulis this week voiced his frustration at their transfer dealings, but after the match he launched a passionate defence of his spell at the club.
"I've been here 20 months," Pulis said, "and we have finished 13th and 14th
There are clubs underneath us who have not made profits and big clubs who have been relegated with massive debts
That was my remit.
"The Chinese are coming next week, the club is being taken over and we'll see what they want to do
But the remit was to keep the club in the Premier League and in profit, and that's what we've done."
Source : PA