At an age when most kids are worried about starting junior high, professional surfer Bethany Hamilton was overcoming challenges most can’t even imagine.
Hamilton recently sat down with Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com and Dr. David Seligman, a New York City orthodontic specialist, to talk about getting her confidence back with a new smile.
At only 4 years old, Hamilton started surfing and since then, she said the ocean has always been a big part of her life.
“Well I was technically surfing in my mother’s womb, and we just grew up at the beach and I just fell in love with being in the water,” she said.
At 13 years old, Hamilton’s life changed forever when she was attacked by a shark and lost her left arm. But only a month later, she inspired all who knew her by making the decision to continue her surfing career.
In 2001, Hamilton’s life story was captured on the silver screen with the release of Soul Surfer. The movie was a box office success, and Hamilton said she was very happy with the way the movie turned out.
“It is amazing to be able to share all that God has done in my life,” Hamilton said, “and through Soul Surfer, it has really been cool to just see how it has impacted so many people.”
Hamilton said she was able to build her confidence through surfing, but also by having the opportunity to get a new high-tech braces system – Damon braces.
“Dr. Turly, who would become my orthodontist, contacted me,” Hamilton said. “And in no way at the time would my family be able to have afforded braces.”
Damon braces use a state of the art design that makes them more hygienic and easier to wear. Dr. Seligman said they have several benefits over traditional braces.
“It really cuts down on treatment time, so people who go through Damon braces tend to wear them for a shorter period of time,” he said.
Because of highly polished, smooth contoured brackets, Seligman said patients feel much more comfort while wearing them.
Hamilton said what she liked most about Damon braces were the longer intervals between visits.
“With my surfing I was so busy at the time, and I only had to do a few treatments so it worked really well for me,” she said.
With her new smile, Hamilton said she has much better oral hygiene that makes her feel much healthier overall.