About this time last year, I was reviewing the visitor stats for my first website and was amazed by the number of people who had visited and read the small number of articles the site contained. Encouraged by this, I spent some time over the festive holidays to redesign the site and to re-launch ukadultbraces.co.uk and @bracesuk with renewed enthusiasm.  And I’m so glad I did as this has been an amazing year!

Not only have I seen the number of visitors to the site grow every month but the opportunities this has opened for me has been quite exceptional and one that I could have only dreamt about 12 months ago. Back in December 2015, I still had braces and felt sure that other adults would share the same interest I had and be curious to learn more about orthodontics. My writing was initially focussed on my experiences but soon changed to explore the wider aspects of orthodontics leading to where we are today.

A pivotal moment earlier this summer was being invited to meet some of the key members of the British Orthodontic Society in London including their President, Alison Murray, and joining them for the launch of their guide to adult orthodontics. I also received an invitation to attend the BOS Conference in Brighton in September and during the time I was there, attended some fascinating lectures delivered by well respected orthodontists and met a number of people I had been interacting with including Megan Hatfield who was the first orthodontist to contribute an article to my site. Her article was on surviving alginate impressions, they are still hard work Megan but I coped well thanks to your great advice!. I also met with a number of orthodontic suppliers and will be travelling overseas next year to learn more about one particular system as well as visiting an orthodontic dental lab to learn about the fabrication of orthodontic appliances.

I received a kind invitation to spend some time at the London Lingual Orthodontic Clinic and experienced the scanning process and learned about lingual braces from Asif Chatoo and will be spending more time looking at this fascinating system next year. I have received some kind invitations to events that I’m hoping to attend next year including a weekend workshop and look forward to not only broadening my knowledge but sharing what I have learned with you over the coming months. I have attended two dental exhibitions, one in Scotland and one in London and have been warmly welcomed by a number of people who were keen to meet me and to explore how they can contribute to the site.

In writing this blog, I have been in regular contact with several other brace wearers and have been very grateful to them for writing for my site or allowing me to link to their blog posts as this has allowed me to provide some great content on different aspects of adult orthodontics. I was also amazed to discover that one of the bloggers I keep in touch with is related to someone I have worked with and look forward to meeting her early next year. I’m still getting over the shock I can assure you as I had absolutely no idea at all!

I’m also very grateful to everyone who has been so supportive of my efforts to produce interesting and varied content and in particular my own orthodontist and his staff who provided me with such an amazing experience that I felt motivated to start this site and share more about this most fascinating topic. The year ended on a high when I received a call a few days ago inviting me to be part of something very interesting and I look forward to sharing news about this early next year. Its safe to say that I’m very much looking forward to 2017!

I hope you have a very happy Christmas.