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Yellow teeth? Here’s what you can do.

A lot of people these days are looking for ways to get a brighter, whiter smile. It’s important when considering different teeth-whitening methods, to meet with your dentist to find the root cause of your yellow teeth. This way you can make sure that your teeth-whitening regimen is effective, and you’re not covering up a bigger issue.

Causes of Yellow Teeth

  1. Enamel erosion – The dentin layer underneath the enamel is naturally yellowish in color. That’s why the thinner your enamel gets, the more yellow your teeth will appear.
  2. Acids in certain food and beverages – Soda is a common acidic beverage that wears away your teeth’s protective enamel coating. If you’re a regular soda drinker, it’s a good bet that your teeth are turning yellow because of it. Cola is especially harmful.
  3. Certain dental conditions
  4. Staining from food and beverages – Examples of food and beverages that can stain teeth are black tea, coffee, red wine, bright fruits and veggies, curry and sugary sweets.
  5. Tobacco use.

What can you do?

Some of the things listed above are good for you, and cutting them out of your life just isn’t an option. Start developing the habit of drinking water after consuming a type of food or beverage that is likely to stain your teeth. This helps rinse away some of the residue and slow the staining.

In some cases, it may be wise to cut back on some of the things discoloring your teeth. Cutting sweets out of your diet or reducing your soda intake can have enormous health benefits beyond the cosmetic benefits to your teeth.

Why see a dentist?

It’s important to see a dentist before trying to remedy yellow teeth on your own because there may be a more serious issue causing the discoloration than just your diet. Yellow teeth can be a symptom of a number of different dental problems, and it’s important not to merely remedy the symptom, covering up evidence of a bigger issue. A dentist can make sure you’re in good oral health, and prescribe an appropriate and effective treatment.


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Having Straight Teeth is About More Than Just Your Smile

Having straight teeth is often viewed as a luxury or something you desire but can’t have. This is especially the case if you are an adult who didn’t benefit from braces as a kid. While many people think having straight teeth only affects their smile, the alignment of your teeth is a big factor in your dental health as well.

Emergency Dental Care – Steps to Take When You Lose a Tooth

We all take precautions when it comes to our teeth. We brush in the morning and evening, we wear mouth guards when we play risky sports, and we go to the dentist twice a year. But sometimes, accidents happen. If you find yourself sitting on the ground with your head ringing and a tooth completely knocked out of your mouth, don’t panic. It’s possible to save your tooth, and your smile.

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Emergency Dental Care – 4 Steps to Take When You Lose a Tooth

Step 1: Retrieve Your Tooth (Carefully)

The first thing you need to do is retrieve your tooth. While the circumstance can seem scary or surreal, make sure you pick your tooth up carefully and only touch the crown (the chewing part of the tooth). You want to avoid touching the root as much as possible because that part needs to stay healthy and whole to get your tooth back where it belongs.

Step 2: Clean The Tooth (Gently)

In a perfect world, your tooth would fall out onto a clean pillow. Most of the time, though, it falls into the dirt or onto the concrete. So once you have your tooth in hand, make sure you wash it gently. Don’t scrub it, and don’t use any chemicals. Just rinse it gently under cold water until the dirt and grit that were clinging to it are gone.

Lastly, don’t wrap your tooth in a tissue or cloth. That isn’t going to help because you need to make sure your tooth, and the tissue, stay moist.

Step 3: Put Your Tooth Back in The Socket (If You Can)

As soon as your tooth is clean, you should try to put it back in the socket. Simply press it back where it belongs with your fingers, or hold it in place, and bite down slowly. The less time the tooth spends out of your mouth, the better off you’ll be.

If you can’t get your tooth back in its socket, a glass of cold milk will do in a pinch. Do not put your tooth in regular tap water, because the water will be too harsh on your tooth and the roots attached to it.

Step 4: Get To A Dental Professional (Within 30 Minutes or Less)

Once you have your tooth, you need to get to a dental emergency room. If you can get there within 30 minutes or so of the accident, there’s a good chance the dentist will be able to save your tooth, and your smile. Of course, even if you can’t make that close deadline, that’s no reason not to try. If you take the proper steps, it’s possible to save a tooth that’s been out of your mouth for an hour or more.


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Getting a Perfect Smile for Your Wedding Day

Planning your wedding is a whirlwind of decisions, last minute preparations and agonizing over little details. You want your big day to be perfect. In all your planning and dreaming and scouring of Pinterest, you’ve probably come across some tips for getting the perfect smile for your wedding day.

To cultivate a perfect smile for your wedding day, you’re mostly looking for short-term solutions to enhance your smile. After all, you probably don’t have years to plan your wedding. Here are some things you can do to make sure you have the perfect smile on your wedding day.

For a Perfect Smile, Protect Those Lips!

You definitely don’t want chapped lips on your wedding day. In the weeks leading up to your big day, make sure you protect your lips:

  • Use a lip balm with a high sun protection factor (SPF)—Nothing is worse than sunburned lips
  • Stay hydrated—When your whole body is hydrated, your lips will have a much easier time staying moist
  • Avoid licking your lips—When your lips start to feel dry, apply lip balm

The folks over at The Knot also recommend exfoliating your lips after you get out of the shower and applying a moisturizer before bed time.

Teeth Whitening

Meet with your dentist to go over teeth whitening methods that will give you a brighter smile for your wedding day. Many methods are available, especially if you look into your options six months or more in advance. Your dentist will help identify the best method for your mouth and will also make sure you have no underlying problems with your teeth. Some of these whitening options include:

  • Whitening strips
  • Whitening trays
  • Paint-on teeth whitening

Take Care of Your Skin

A healthy complexion is a big part of a perfect smile, but healthy, clean skin doesn’t happen overnight. Get into a good skin-care regimen long before your wedding day. Starting early also gives you ample time to make sure your skin isn’t sensitive to any new products. Don’t try something new a week before your wedding day; you could have an unexpected allergic reaction.

If you start now, you’re sure to have a perfect smile ready for your big day. Get started by meeting with your dentist to go over your options for teeth-whitening and get started right away!


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Dentistry for Children – Keeping Little Mouths Healthy

You can your little ones on the path to good dental habits begins before they even have teeth. Why would you think about dental health before your baby has a single tooth? Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean their teeth aren’t there. Teeth begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy, and by the time your baby is born, he or she will have 20 primary or “baby” teeth, and some of will already be fully developed in his jaw!

It Starts with the Gums

Even before your baby starts teething, get into the habit of running a clean, damp washcloth over her gums to clear away harmful bacteria.

Caring for Tiny Choppers

Once your baby’s teeth start coming in, brush them with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a tiny bit (about the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste. (Use a brand that has the ADA seal of approval.) Using a tiny amount is best in case she swallows any saliva while you’re brushing. Brush gently on the inside and outside of each tooth.

As soon as your baby’s teeth touch, you can add flossing in between them to the routine.

Starting around age two, let them brush their teeth themselves, under your supervision. Remind them to spit frequently to avoid swallowing toothpaste. Once they reach age three, let them use a bit more toothpaste — a dab about the size of a pea. Keep supervising the brushing process until they’re around six years old. You want to make sure they have the coordination to do a good job brushing and that they don’t swallow any toothpaste.

Establish Good Feeding Habits

Even a baby can develop tooth decay if he or she goes to sleep with a bottle every night. Sugars from milk or juice that stay on baby’s teeth overnight can eat away at the enamel and cause a condition known as “bottle mouth”. Pitted or discolored front teeth are signs of the condition, and, if severe enough, it can cause cavities and make it necessary to have their front baby teeth pulled out. (Their permanent teeth will replace them eventually.)

Letting your baby or toddler suck on a bottle all day can also do damage, so try to establish regular eating and bottle times rather than letting them have their bottle whenever they want it. Try to switch them to a “sippy” cup by the time they’re six months of age, even if you have to hold it until they develop the motor skills to hold it themselves.

Their First Visit with the Dentist

The ADA recommends that children see a dentist by the time they reach their first birthday. The dentist will likely let you hold your baby on your lap while she does an exam, and will go over proper brushing and flossing techniques with you.

This first visit is important for a couple of reasons:

  1. It gets your child acquainted with going to the dentist so they’ll feel more comfortable during future visits.
  2. Potential problems can be spotted early and fluoride treatments can start even before your baby has all his or her primary teeth.

Prevent Cavities

Limit sugary treats and juices, which can cause cavities. If you establish good habits early, your kids will have an easier time keeping them later on. Taking care of their teeth will become part of their daily routine, thanks to your early diligence!


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A New Method for Oral Surgery

If you need oral surgery and you don’t have the time or aren’t comfortable with the idea of being fully sedated, conscious sedation may be just what you need. Moderate (conscious) Sedation, also known as MCS, falls in between a local anesthetic like Novocaine, and general anesthesia, which puts you to “sleep” for a surgical procedure.

A Time-Saving Procedure

Technically speaking, MCS is a “drug induced depression of consciousness”, which is a fancy way of saying that you’re neither fully awake nor fully asleep. The method uses a combination of medicine to help you relax (a sedative) and a medicine to block pain (an anesthetic). You’ll probably stay awake, but may or may not be able to speak. MCS lets you recover more quickly and be back to your everyday activities sooner after your procedure.

Conscious sedation dentistry also saves time because you can respond to the oral surgeon’s directions during the procedure. It’s great for commuters in Fredericksburg and the DC area who are short on time because you can get more than one procedure done in a session.

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How It’s Administered and How You’ll Feel

Your dentist will usually give you a shot, although the medicine can also be administered through an IV. You’ll begin to feel relaxed and even drowsy in a very short time after receiving the injection. Your breathing will slow down and your blood pressure may go down a little, too. You may fall asleep, but it’s such a light sleep that if someone asks you a question, you’ll “wake up” and respond without difficulty.

After the Oral Surgery

As the sedation wears off, you might feel sleepy, have a headache, or be a little queasy. This should pass quickly. Afterwards, take it easy. Avoid driving and skip the evening cocktail or glass of wine with dinner for that day. By the next day, you should be feeling like yourself again, and be ready for new adventures!


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How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign has been the buzz word in tooth alignment for a while now. If you’ve been looking for an innovative alternative to braces, you may have heard of this orthodontic marvel with ‘invisible’ and removable aligners. But just how well does Invisalign work? Well, a clinical study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) revealed a 41% mean accuracy of tooth movement with Invisalign. But what exactly does this product entail, what are its benefits, and how does Invisalign work? Here are the answers to some of the questions you may have.

What is Invisalign?

It’s beneficial to know what this product entails, for a better understanding on how it works. “Invisalign is removable, comfy, and practically invisible. Basically, it’s everything braces are not.” It comprises transparent aligners made of polyurethane plastic that resemble a tooth whitening tray.

Your dentist may recommend them if your teeth are crowded or crooked, and design a tray custom-made for your mouth. It’s also never too late to improve your smile with Invisalign, as it can be worn if you are a teen or an adult.

How does Invisalign work in comparison to braces?

Braces and Invisalign have a few common advantages. They both straighten your teeth. They can also both treat under bite, cross bite, overbite, crowding, and uneven spacing. However, the benefits of using Invisalign far outweighs the disadvantages of wearing braces. Here are some of them:

  • You can remove Invisalign for several hours. This is ideal if you need to attend a social event, or if you feel like allowing your teeth to ‘breathe’. Braces are non-removable.
  • Your oral hygiene routine need not be disrupted, as you’ll be able to floss and brush your teeth like you normally do. This is vital for optimal dental heath. You won’t be able to do this as effectively with braces.
  • Invisalign is virtually invisible. As the name suggests, this product is barely noticeable, in comparison to normal braces. This is a definite confidence booster, as you’re more likely to be self conscious when wearing metal in your mouth.
  • Invisalign is more comfortable than braces, as it’s derived from plastic. The metal in braces is likely to make usage uncomfortable.

How does Invisalign work with regards to application?

You’ve probably been curious about this procedure since considering Invisalign right? The application here is fairly straightforward. Orthodontists do offer this service, however dentists who are specially trained can offer you Invisalign as well. Even better is that you’ll be required to visit your dentist less often than an orthodontist with ordinary braces.

Your dentist will initiate the process with x-rays, bite registrations, and impressions of your gums and teeth. These are painless so don’t worry if you’re concerned about feeling any discomfort. With bite registrations, all you need to do is bite onto a sheet of foil paper, so your dentist can get an impression of your teeth in biting mode.

Your dentist will use state of the art software to decipher what the ideal movement projection for you is. The dentist will modify your transparent aligners before it’s sent away to be designed. The aligners are made via a CAD-CAM software program.

You may wear each aligner for about two weeks. They should be worn for 20 hours per day, and you are allowed to remove them for up to four hours. You’re advised to brush and floss upon removal.

You should remove your Invisalign when eating. However, you won’t be restricted from eating some of your favorite snacks like popcorn, as leftovers won’t get stuck with this removable product. You’ll be required to wear your Invisalign for slightly over a year, and may be advised to wear a retainer at night after treatment.


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Celebrating 30 Years Young at the Smile Center

It takes a special kind of dedication to help a whole community smile, and for Dr. Cathie Hidalgo Seaman, this 30th year of practice is a special milestone.

A Journey of Service

In the 30 years of dental service to the Fredericksburg region, Dr. Seaman and her team have provided tens of thousands of dollars via charity dental care and were voted “Best Dentist” by Fredericksburg Guide Book (2004). Additionally, Dr. Seaman has been awarded the Woman of Distinction Award for Community Service by the Commonwealth Council of Girl Scouts. More than anything, it has been a 30-year investment in the health and vitality of our community.

We’re committed to the value of a smile, and the importance that dental health makes in the overall well-being of our community.

What’s changed in 30 years?

Much has changed in the last 30 years of dentistry, including the office location, which now offers a state-of–the-art dental suite complete with a designer lobby and a soothing environment. Along the way, many other dental offices have abandoned conscious sedation because of the complexity,  but the Smile Center continues to offer this service, which is important, especially for patients who live with a mental illness that makes dental care difficult, who suffer from dental anxiety, or those who simply need to get more than one dental procedure completed in one appointment.

In the early years of the practice, big changes were happening with dental care, which included the use of new tooth-colored restorative materials, as well as improvements and advances in whitening methods. Shortly after, tooth-colored dental implants ushered in a new era of aesthetic dentistry. While staying up to date on the best resources and techniques, the Smile Center has never forgotten its primary mission of empowering the community through innovation, diversity, and superior support.

Much more than great technology.

In 1987, shortly after the practice opened, the first rotary toothbrush was invented. Since then, a vast amount of new dental technology has been developed, but an effective dental practice has to do more than bring the latest technology—it has to provide quality and consistent service that keeps people coming back, while taking care of their dental health. Just having the tools doesn’t make a great dentist; it’s about connecting with people, giving them the right advice, and making them feel at ease about caring for their teeth.

Something you can’t live without.

In 2003, in an annual survey of adults and teens, the toothbrush was voted the number one invention people can’t live without, beating out the computer, cell phone, and automobile.   While the team at the Smile Center encourage effective dental care at home, they know that it’s more than just the toothbrush and floss that keeps teeth healthy—they work as a team with each patient to help them find the right solution for their dental needs.

Therapy dogs make the office feel like home.

Since visiting a dental office is a routine—something that patients need to do at least twice a year—it’s important to make this space as inviting and comfortable as possible. For those who love animals, and for some who just want a little reassurance during their dental care, the staff at the Smile Center introduced Diego and DJ, a pair of trained therapy dogs. Research shows that therapy dogs help bring calm and serenity to health care settings. For those who have enjoyed petting them, or even having them on their lap during a procedure, our team knows that it makes a real difference in the dental experience.

Ready for the next 30 years.

We are not stopping at 30! We will continue to bring the state of the art dentistry and our efforts to continuously improve. The family tradition will also continue, as Dr. Seaman’s son, Joel S. Butterworth, D.D.S. will join the practice in 2016. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston and the Howard University College of Dentistry. Currently, Dr. Butterworth is performing a General Dentistry Trauma Residency at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. He will return to Fredericksburg in June of 2016, to join the exceptional team at the Smile Center.

If you are looking for a new dentist, are new to the area, want to take advantage of conscious sedation, or even the oral surgeon located here, the helpful team at the Smile Center invites the citizens of Fredericksburg region stop by or call to make an appointment. We’re conveniently located right off Plank and I95. If you are a long-standing patient of the office, Dr. Seaman and her staff would like to express their thanks to you for making the last 30 years great ones. The Smile Center is looking forward to many more years of serving our local community.

About the Dentist

Cathie Hidalgo Seaman, Smile Center FounderDr. Cathie Hidalgo Seaman received her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Medical College of Virginia. She attended dental hygiene school at Old Dominion University, and has been in private practice in Fredericksburg since 1985. She has extensive training and certification in all procedures of general dentistry. Dr. Hidalgo Seaman has two boys, Joel and Trent. She is committed to serve her community through the annual “Smiles With a Heart” program and various non-profit organizations.





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Our Little Lovable Therapy Dogs

For our team, having dogs is just a way of life. With all the research surrounding therapy dogs and the well-known fact that they decrease patient anxiety, we decided that dogs should be a part of our work, too.

Friendly and gentle pups.

Research has shown that therapy animals can improve a patient’s mental and emotional state — which helps them to engage and participate in the treatment process. We like our environment to be calming and serene. Our pups Diego and DJ make all the difference!

As trained therapy animals, our dogs are friendly but gentle. They put everyone at ease — especially children that are less-than-sure about the dentist. Diego and DJ are often used to lead children to their appointment, or are placed on their lap during procedures to decrease anxiety.

Our little heroes can…

  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Decrease aggressive behaviors
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Increase the feeling of acceptance
  • Increase verbal interactions
  • Increase self-esteem

Diego and DJ love visitors. Bring your children in to meet our dogs, and take a spin around the office. We’ll show them just how fun a dental visit can be!

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Always Super to Me and My Family

Everyone is always super to me and my family. But Robert in particular has been, continues to be, and will always be our family’s brother from another mother!



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