Hooray for the Tooth Fairy!

Every year, National Tooth Fairy Day is celebrated on August 22!

Losing primary or baby teeth is a normal part of growing up and, for lots of kids, so is the Tooth Fairy. So who is this magical creature retrieving your child’s teeth and how often can we expect them? NOAH General Dentist, Anita Checkuru, DMD shares the ins and outs of losing baby teeth.

Q. How many teeth do kids lose?

A. 20 primary teeth aka “baby/milk teeth” are lost. 

According to Delta Dental’s 2022 Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, the average going rate has reached a record high of $5.36 per tooth meaning most kids are racking up more than $100 through the entire process.

Q. Are there any exceptions to the number of teeth a child might lose?

A. There are scenarios where children may not get all 20 of their primary teeth due to genetics or other health reasons.

In this case, keeping all the other baby teeth in the very best health by brushing and flossing at least twice a day will help retain every tooth’s maximum exchange value.

Q. How old are kids when they start/stop losing teeth?

A. Kids typically lose their first tooth around age 6-7 and their last tooth around age 11-12.

From the Tooth Fairy’s perspective, this five-year process is welcomed both in terms of storage and cash flow.

Q. If a tooth is loose, do you recommend forcing it out, wiggling it, leaving it alone?

A. When a primary tooth is loose, it can gently be wiggled at home until it falls out.

Note the word gently.  Losing a tooth can be scary for kids, especially the first time. Wiggling the tooth for a day or two gives your child time to get used to the idea and allows for the tooth’s root to naturally dissolve. Check out these fun printables from the American Dental Association to help your child get read for the Tooth Fairy to pass the time.

Dental services for all ages are available at Desert Mission Health Center, Heuser Pediatric Dental, Palomino Health Center, and at the new Cholla Health Center opening in late 2022. Click here to learn more about our dental services or to schedule an appointment.

10 Exercises You Can Do in the Pool

By Alexander Clabourne, RDN | Dietitian

Looking for some exercises that does not involve waking up early in the morning to try and avoid the summer heat? Look no further with these ten pool exercises! Exercising in the pool is a great way to stay cool during the summer, while also improving strength and cardiovascular health. What’s awesome about these exercises is they all can be done with minimal equipment; you just need yourself and the pool, but it can be handy to have some goggles too! Check out the following exercises to learn more!

Remember: Unless using an indoor pool, use plenty of sunscreen to prevent sunburn, even when cloudy outside. Also, drink plenty of water while exercising to stay hydrated. You can still sweat in the pool!

1. Front Crawl

Also known as free style, front crawl is a type of swimming stroke. This is an advanced swimming technique, but once learned, this exercise can take your fitness routine to the next level!  Check out the video tutorial below to learn how to do the front crawl correctly.

2. Breaststroke

Similar to front crawl, breaststroke is another swim stroke that you might find easier to do. What’s unique about this exercise is that it can be easier to swim with your head above the water. Tune into the video below to learn how to do this exercise.

3. Walking

This exercise is great for beginners. It comes with similar health benefits to walking on land, while adding extra resistance and taking stress off your joints. To perform this movement, simply walk back and forth across the shallow end of the pool.    

4. Treading

This exercise involves staying in place, while keeping your head above the water. If you are new to this exercise, start in the shallow end of the pool first before moving to the deep end. There are many ways to do this exercise so do whatever is easiest for you! Check out the video below to learn how!

5. Jumping Jacks

Perform this exercise like you would on land. Don’t worry if you can’t do as many as you can do on land. It’s supposed to be harder!

6. Kicking

For this exercise, hold onto the side of the pool and do a flutter kick to keep yourself afloat and flat across the surface of the pool. You can also do this exercise with a breaststroke kick.

7. Wall Push Offs

This is a fun one! To start, hold on to the side of the pool while placing both feet on the wall so that you are hanging off the edge. Tuck your knees into your chest, and when you are ready, push off and glide on your back. Jog/walk back to the edge and repeat.

8. High Knees

To perform this exercise, alternate between pushing off the bottom of the pool with your foot bringing your knee up as high as you can. You can stay in place or do this exercise across the shallow end of the pool.

9. Dips/Pushups

This exercise is effective for building upper body strength. If you can’t do the dips, pushups in the pool can be an easier alternative. Start in the pool by placing both of your hands on the edge of the pool a little bit wider than shoulder width apart. While at an angle, lower your chest as far as you can and push back up. Watch the video below for step by step instructions.

10. Lateral Arm Raises

This exercise can help strengthen your shoulders. Start with your shoulders below the water with your hands placed at your side. Slowly raise your hands up out to the side until they reach the surface of the water like a cross. Slowly lower your arms back down to your sides to repeat the movement. You can also do this exercise with your arms bent at 90 degrees to make it easier. 

Every Vote Counts

We are excited to partner with Vot-ER to promote the importance of voting! Vot-ER is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to integrating civil engagement into healthcare with one simple message:

“Voting is an important way to make your voice heard and influence government policies that affect our community.

Shape Your Community, Shape Your Health

The officials we vote into office make important decisions, like how much prescription drugs cost and whether we have access to fresh fruits and vegetables in our neighborhoods.

As voters, we can directly influence these policies and help shape the health of our community for generations to come.

You Don’t Have to be an Expert on Politics to Vote

Need help deciding who or what to vote for? Discuss with friends and family, search online for local voter guides, and read endorsements from news sources you trust.

Voting is important—but it doesn’t have to be a burden.

This is Your Community

You and your neighbors know best what your community needs to thrive. Whether you’re new to the area or have lived in your neighborhood all your life, your voice is needed in every election.”


Who is Voting?

Non-Hispanic white people have a 71% share of votes across the country based on a study conducted by the Elect Project, a program administered by the University of Florida Department of Political Science. Further results from the 2020 presidential election cross-referenced with Census data indicate that 72% of people with education beyond high school voted, while 55% of people with a high school education voted, and only 40% of people with less than a high school education voted.

Statistically, minority populations with lower income levels, and less education are more prominent in medically underserved communities. As a result, we can presume that a large portion of our patients’ opinions are not being represented in government elections.

What We’re Doing

Over the next eight weeks, we will be encouraging every NOAH patient and employee to make sure they’re registered to vote and commit to voting in the November 8 election. This is a nonpartisan, unbiased effort meaning we don’t have any interest in how people vote – only that their vote is counted.

Ways to Support NOAH

In celebration of National Health Center Week, August 7-14, we are spreading the word about health centers, how they function, and how you can help us make a difference in the communities we serve.

What is a Health Center?

According to the Healthcare Advocacy Network, there are four main components every health center must have in order to operate as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).

Organizations must:

  1. Be located in areas of high need: Designated as medically underserved areas or populations by the federal government
  2. Offer a comprehensive set of services: Based on community needs, health centers offer medical, dental, vision, behavioral health, and enabling services
  3. Be open to everyone: Regardless of insurance status or ability to pay, and offer sliding fee scale options to low-income patients
  4. Have patient-majority governing boards: At least 51% of every health center board of directors must be made up of patients

By meeting the above criteria along with lots of other detailed requirements, health centers can be designated as FQHCs. This designation makes health centers like NOAH eligible to receive federal grant funding.

Are FQHCs Funded by the Government?

Not entirely. FQHCs have been around for nearly 60 years and while healthcare has changed a lot in the last six decades, health centers have too. Here’s a look at how FQHCs are funded today:

  • Grants and contracts consist of all government allocations including limited-time funding like COVID-19 relief dollars.
  • Patients includes all dollars exchanged for patient services billed through medicaid (AHCCCS), medicare, private insurance, and self-pay options.
  • Other refers to individual and corporate donations.

What is the Impact of FQHCs?

Health center visits nationwide saw a five-year growth rate of nearly 18% from 2015 to 2020. In Arizona the number of visits grew by more than 60% while health center locations have grown by 40% both locally and nationally. This shows a major need for health center facility growth in Arizona. At NOAH, we’ve addressed this growth by increasing telehealth services and expanding the size and capacity of our clinics. Our new Desert Mission location opened earlier this year in Sunnyslope and we are on-track to introduce our new expanded Cholla Health Center in south Scottsdale by the end of 2022.  NOAH had 237,000 patient appointments in 2021 averaging out to roughly five visits last year for each of our 45,000 patients.

What Can You Do to Help?

Vote in Every Election

Health centers rely on government funding for a significant portion of our operating costs. This funding is decided on by our elected officials and/or guidelines set through legislation. Both of these factors are determined by YOU, your neighbors, your friends, your family, and your opinions when you vote. Take the opportunity to share your voice by voting in every election. Voting can be complicated but there are lots of unbiased resources to help explain who and what is on the ballot in terms that are easy to understand. If you need more information on how to vote or register to vote, check out vot-er.org.  

Donate or Support Businesses Who Do

While the piece for “Other Funding” is seemingly small in comparison to the rest of the pie, it accounts for a lot of budget dollars – in NOAH’s case $4.5 million. Donating doesn’t have to mean writing a check or dropping a $20 bill in a collection box. There are lots of other ways to donate. Programs like Amazon Smile and Fry’s Community Rewards give a portion of what you spend to an organization of choice in your community. There’s also the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit which essentially lets you allocate up to $800 (married filing jointly) or up to $400 (individual) from your taxes to NOAH as a qualifying non-profit organization.

Tell Everyone You Know

Spread the word about health centers, our impact, and all the ways to support our efforts in each community. It’s as easy as hitting “share” on social media, asking your community to sign up for fundraising opportunities that benefit NOAH, or telling your friends and family about the NOAH health center in your neighborhood.

Become a Patient

Choose a health center for your family’s healthcare needs. NOAH offers high-quality integrated healthcare in multiple locations throughout the valley as well as telehealth options for virtual appointments wherever you are.  Everyone is welcome at NOAH and it is our privilege to serve you. Request an appointment today.

Monkeypox: What You Need to Know

According to recent reports released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of August 1 there have been over 5,100 reported cases of monkeypox in the United States with Arizona accounting for 50 of those cases. Our best defense against monkeypox is to keep it from spreading by understanding symptoms of the virus and how it’s transmitted. Dr. Vanyo-Novak, Family Physician and Medical Director for NOAH answers some of the most common questions.

Q: What is monkeypox?

A: Monkeypox is a virus that can cause fever, body aches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that typically starts on the face, arms, and legs and spreads toward the trunk. 

Examples of Monkeypox rash:

Monkeypox Example

Though cases are on the rise, this infection is still rare and there is much you can do to protect yourself.

Q: Is monkeypox the same thing as chickenpox?

A: No, monkeypox is caused by a different virus. 

Monkeypox is most similar to Smallpox, a virus that last seen in the U.S. back in 1949. 

Though monkeypox and chickenpox both involve rashes that can itch and be painful, the rash in monkeypox starts as flat red spots that become raised within 1-2 days and then pus filled within 5-7 days.  The rash in monkeypox can involve the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, the rash in chickenpox doesn’t.  Monkeypox also causes swollen lymph glands, something you don’t usually see with chickenpox. 

Q: Who is at risk for monkeypox?

A: Anyone who comes in close contact with other people or animals infected with monkeypox.

Monkeypox can be spread through:

  • direct contact with the rash, scabs, or bodily fluid
  • touching items (clothes, linens) that previously touched the rash or bodily fluids
  • inhaling respiratory secretions during close face-to face contact or during intimate physical contact such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.
  • pregnant women can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta 

Q: How do I protect myself and my family from monkeypox? 

A: There is a lot you can do to avoid contracting monkeypox, including: 

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have rashes.  Avoid touching rashes or scabs on other people.
  • Do not kiss, cuddle, or have sex with someone who has suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
  • Do not share utensils or cups with someone who has suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
  • Do not touch bedding, towels, or clothes of someone who has suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
  • Avoid touching your face and clean your hands after touching other people or surfaces.  This can be done with soap and water or with and alcohol-based sanitizer. 
  • If you work in a NOAH Health Center or other patient care environment, make sure to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and exercise good hand hygiene.

Q: Is there a vaccine for monkeypox?

A: Yes, there are two vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for preventing monkeypox.  These vaccines are in limited supply and available through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Health Department only.  Unlike most of our vaccines, the monkeypox vaccines can be given after a known exposure to the virus and still be effective.  At this time, the vaccines are mostly being used in high risk individuals who have had close contact with a confirmed case of monkeypox.

Q: What if I suspect I have monkeypox?

A: Please self-isolate until you can seek medical attention for further evaluation.  NOAH has an RN Nurse Triage line available to help assess your symptoms and determine whether a telehealth or in office visit is needed.  Testing for monkeypox can only be completed during an in office visit.  Please make sure to wear a mask and cover all open sores prior to entering any of our NOAH clinics.  This is to help decrease the spread of the virus.

Q: Is there treatment for monkeypox?

A: No, there is no specific treatment for monkeypox.  That being said, because monkeypox is so similar to smallpox and smallpox does have a treatment, TPOXX, this treatment can be approved under what’s called “compassionate use” for patients at extreme risk for complications.  This medication is only available through the CDC.  If a NOAH clinician believes a patient may need treatment for monkeypox they will help coordinate next steps with the CDC.  Though most cases of monkeypox will resolve on their own and not require treatment there are some instances where treatment is indicated (examples include patients with active HIV, intolerable pain from the monkeypox lesions). 

Q: What is NOAH doing to prevent the spread of monkeypox in our clinics?

A: NOAH Health Center teams follow specific guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious diseases.  Patients with symptoms indicating a potentially contagious condition are roomed upon arrival to the clinic. NOAH staff follow strict protocols for use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning of the exam rooms and office equipment after each visit.

Q: Where can I learn more about monkeypox?

A: For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please visit the CDC website.