I just saw surfer Bethany Hamilton of Hawaii live on a webinar, discussing the Damon System orthodontic treatment that gave her a beautiful smile and more confidence. Wow – as if getting back on a surfboard at age 13, one month after losing her left arm to a shark – wasn’t a display of confidence!
Now 21, Bethany received her smile treatment through the generosity of Dr. Patrick Turley of Manhattan Beach, CA, who reached out to her just because he was inspired and wished he could do something to help her recover. Read this great article about the connection the two people made, “Dentist helps ‘Soul Surfer’ regain her smile,” published in the American Dental Association News. (His website makes this one discreet mention of her treatment – this man is not one to blow his own horn.)
The Damon System operates with longer-than-usual intervals between appointments, which really helped Bethany complete the treatment in spite of there being a fair amount of the Pacific Ocean between her and Dr. Turley; visits were spaced every two to three months. In the webinar, I learned what constitutes a great smile, including facial symmetry, an arc to the smile, upright teeth and a broad smile (they called it the “ten-tooth” smile). It was cool to hear that Damon brackets are easier to keep clean than the colored elastics, and that the passive slide-mechanism helps move teeth more quickly.
Bethany has gone on to become a national surfing champion and is now a spokesperson for the Damon System; I think everyone is smiling now.