Healthy Smile Tips by Dr. Lou Sarrosa, Dental Director

During the month of February, thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers, and educators come together to support National Children’s Dental Health Month. The goal is to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers and members of the community. At NOAH we believe in educating our little community members on the importance of having a healthy smile. We do this by partnering with local school districts, hosting free dental health screenings and providing oral health education to all attendees. We also attend various events in the community where we offer the same services while encouraging families in need of a dentist to come see us at one of our dental offices. At NOAH, we take oral health education a step further by providing these free community screening events all year long. With your help, and just a few simple tips from our dental pro’s, you and your child can have a healthy smile that is bright and cheerful.


  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between your teeth daily.
  • Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.
  • See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease.

Should I Give My Kids Sports Drinks by Dr. Mozhgan Kimble, Dentist

“Sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Powerade, are meant to rapidly replenish electrolytes lost through sweating during prolonged, vigorous physical activity.”

American Academy of Pediatrics

Even then, water should be the main source of hydration. Sports drinks have considerable amounts of sugar, which leads to higher risk of weight gain and cavities. An 8oz serving of a sports drink can have as much as 14 grams of sugar. However, even the lower calorie versions still have a high acidic concentration. Tooth enamel dissolves at a pH of 5.5. Water is neutral at a pH of 7, but Gatorade has a pH of 3.3. In other words, sipping on Gatorade exposes their beautiful smile to a sugary, acidic environment which dissolves enamel and causes cavities. So, if your child is having a great day running around the playground, the best way to keep them hydrated and healthy is simply refreshing water. Remember, skip the sports drink, keep the smile.

Check out these few tips for reducing sports drink consumption for your child.
1. Encourage your child to drink low fat milk or water with their lunch.
2. Avoid sending Gatorade or Powerade in their lunches.
3. Drink water in between meals.
4. If your child must have a sports drink after a long (over an hour), vigorous and sweaty workout, have them drink the sports drink quickly, and then follow it with water.

Have you scheduled your bi-annual dental hygiene apt. yet? Call 480-882-4545 today!

October is Dental Hygiene Month!

“Don’t be tricked on Halloween, choose the right treats that may help your children steer clear of the Mouth Monsters (also known as tooth decay) like Ginger Bite-Us and Tartar the Terrible. Instead, choose Tooth D.K. Dark chocolates and sugar-free gum which are better for the teeth compared to gummies, caramel, sour candy or bubble gum,” says our friends at The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists. They’re less likely to get stuck in the tiny grooves and crevices of your teeth. If you prefer chocolate, try to encourage your kids to eat dark chocolate. This tasty treat is packed with antioxidants that can stop bacteria from sticking to teeth, which may help fight gum infections and has less sugar in most cases than milk chocolate with may help reduce tooth decay! Don’t forget to rinse your mouth with water anytime you consume sweet treats and make sure to brush before bed! Have a safe and Happy Halloween from our NOAH family to yours!

For more information, go to:

Halloween Safety Tips by Amit Jain, MD, FAAP, MBA

It’s that time of year again! Halloween is right around the corner. With it comes lots of fun, elaborate costumes, tricks, and treats! Have your children thought of the costume they’d like to wear this year? We here at NOAH want to make sure they stay safe while out trick or treating this year. With assistance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, have provided some great safety tips below to keep them safe while they’re out.

Fun / elaborate costumes can be an exciting part of Halloween. One of the most effective but most easily forgotten ways to help make your child’s Halloween a safe one is with costume safety.

Here are some great safety tips:

  • As most of the trick or treating happens after dusk, make sure costumes are bright and colorful and / or have some reflective surfaces that can be easily seen by drivers and others. You can even consider adding some reflective tape or striping to the costumes and trick-or-treat bags with such tape. It can even help for a cool effect the children would love.
  • Make sure the costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, and are clearly labeled as flame-resistant.
  • Along with this, make sure your children have shoes that fit well and are comfortable for walking long distances.
  • Masks can obscure a child’s vision, especially to the sides (peripheral vision) as the mask moves around their face. Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as fun and safe alternatives to masks.
  • Any swords or other sticks / canes that are a part of the costume should not be sharp or too long that they could hurt your child if they trip and stumble over these objects.
  • Make sure all children and their escorts have flashlights with a fresh set of batteries.
  • Before leaving for trick or treating, make sure your children know how to call 9-1-1 or their local police department in case they get lost or separated or in an emergency. Have a safety plan in place for the chance that a child gets separated from the group, which should include having the child stay where they are in a safe location if they do get separated from the group. The non-emergency number for the Phoenix Police Department is: 602-262-6151.
  • Also, make sure they have a good meal prior to going trick or treating, and bring a water bottle for each child and the children’s escorts to stay hydrated while out.
  • A parent or responsible adult should be with and watching children at all times while out. Instruct children to always stay in a group and close to the parent / responsible adult. Also instruct them to remain on well-lit streets, always use the sidewalks (or as close to the edge of the road as safe if no sidewalk is available, facing traffic), and use designated crosswalks to cross the street.  Don’t assume you have the right of way – it is much more difficult to see the road and pedestrians at night! While out trick-or-treating, only go to homes with a porch light that is on. Remember to never enter homes or cars for a treat.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route that is acceptable to you beforehand – and ensure they will stay on that route. Plan and agree upon a time that they should arrive home by. Remember curfews – Phoenix juvenile curfew hours are 10 p.m. for children 15 and younger and midnight for 16- and 17-year-old children. If possible, give them a cell phone for emergency contact use.
  • Finally, after the fun night of trick-or-treating, sort and check all treats before the child eats any of them (including ones they eat while still out trick-or-treating). Throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious looking treats. Ration out treats for the weeks and months following Halloween. They should not eat any of these treats immediately before bedtime. Along with this, remind your children that the rules don’t change from a normal day – remember to have your children brush their teeth before bedtime to get all of that stuck-on candy out of their teeth.
  • Also, don’t forget to have regular check-ups with our wonderful Pediatric Dentists here at NOAH!

Please check the American Academy of Pediatrics website for some more awesome safety tips here:

Have a fun, safe, and Happy Halloween from your friends at NOAH!

Halloween-Make Healthy Tooth Friendly Choices

Follow these tooth friendly tips this Halloween!

1 – Consume treats in moderation.

2 – Screen treats your child collects and help them make tooth healthy choices.

3 – Allow you child to eat a few healthy choices after trick-or-treating and donate the rest.

4 – Brush your child’s teeth after eating their treats and before going to bed.

5 – Non-candy options like stickers, pencils and straws are great alternatives!

To schedule an appt., please call 480-882-4545.

NOAH and TeamSmile

Our NOAH Care Team was out at the The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Center of Phoenix South Mountain hosting a resource table and scheduling #dental follow up care appointments for many of the #children in need of a dental home this weekend. A special thanks to our partner, TeamSmile + Arizona Cardinals TeamSmile for allowing us to be part of such an amazing event and opportunity to serve more families in our community. Schedule your dental hygiene apt. at 480-882-4545 today!

Dental Assistants Recognition Week 2019

During #DentalAssistantsRecognitionWeek we thank our #dentalassistants for their #empathy, #compassion and commitment to providing the best experience for our patients,” says Dr. Lou Sarrosa. Our Care Team at NOAH are here to help you create & manage your #healthy #lifestyle #habits. Need help setting or sticking to your goals? Call 480-882-4545 today!

At-Home Dental Care During Year One – Video

#Infants benefit from proper #OralCare, even before the #FirstBabyTooth appears. Learn from Dr. Gretchen Henson, Board Certified Pediatric Dentist on ways you can provide #dental care at home for your #baby. Our Care Team at NOAH will work with you and your child to choose the best path for their overall #health and #wellness. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!

First Dental Visit – Video

“Early care and basic #education can help prevent #toothdecay, inform parents on proper oral and facial development, and determine #fluoride needs”, says Dr. Gretchen Henson, #PediatricDentist. Our Care Team at NOAH will work with you and your child to choose the best path for their overall #health and #wellness. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!

Back-to-School Tips for Healthy Teeth

Gretchen K. Henson, DDS – NOAH Heuser Pediatric Dentistry

“In the hustle and bustle of back-to-school, dental care often falls by the wayside,” says Dr. Henson, who notes that dental disease is the most common chronic disease of childhood—five times more prevalent than asthma.

“Tooth care is very important, but in the rush to get out the door in the morning, tooth brushing can get short shrift,” she says, adding that too much sugar and excessive soda and juice can lead to a serious tooth decay. “Children should see the dentist twice a year, but adequate home care, healthy diets and trauma prevention can ensure that children’s teeth stay healthy when they get back to school,” says Dr. Henson. At NOAH, we educate our families on the importance of good oral health at all ages and stages of teeth development. Check out our 11 tips below and consider adapting some or all of these strategies in your home so you to, can prevent dental disease.

1 – Strategic Brushing.

On school days, kids often have breakfast and are out the door—sometimes even eating breakfast on the way to school—and in the rush, they forget to brush. Dr. Henson says it’s not necessary to wait until after breakfast to brush. She suggests beating the morning rush by having kids brush before breakfast.

“The goal is to prevent the PH of the mouth from dropping in to an unsafe zone since cavities form in an acidic environment,” she says. “Studies show that if we brush and eat, the mouth’s PH will not dip low enough to form cavities.”

2 – Double Up.

Before school, many parents spend a lot of time brushing, braiding and putting hair in ponytails. Try giving your child a toothbrush while you brush his or her hair so you can get both jobs done at the same time.

3 – Eating Right.

At home, kids often spend the day grazing and snacking. In school, meals are more structured but less healthy since school lunches often feature foods that are highly processed or high in sugar. If you are packing your child’s lunch, send as many perishable foods as possible—anything that “requires refrigeration,” such as fruits, vegetables and meats, for healthy alternatives.

4 – Don’t Worry About Being Creative.

It’s okay to give your child the same healthy lunch every day. Kids don’t need that much variety and it makes life easier to cut up and pack fruits and vegetables in a baggie that you can grab along with a container of hummus and a few slices of pita.

5 – If It Sits On The Shelf, It Sits On The Teeth.

Even the most ubiquitous “healthy snacks”—low-sugar goldfish, pretzels and crackers—have starch that coats the teeth, feeding tooth-rotting bacteria that loves carbohydrates. Schools tend to rely on these products because they can sit in the pantry. Teachers also tend to give kids these products as snacks, so parents shouldn’t double down. Give children real, whole foods, such as whole fruits, instead of packaged or sticky foods such as gummy bears, fruit roll ups or dried fruits such as raisins.

6 – The Best Beverage Is Water.

Packaged juice tends to have more sugar than a child should have in an entire day. Kids who drink juice at lunch will have their teeth coated for the rest of the day unless they clean their mouth well after they eat, which is unlikely. The best beverage is water. Tap water in a water bottle is not only environmentally friendly, but is better than bottled water that does not have fluoride. Save juice for dinner…or better yet, give your child whole fruits. Sweets are addictive, so teach your child to like water.

7 – Protecting Teeth.

Make sure kids have mouth protection when they participate in organized sports at school, especially soccer, baseball and basketball. Don’t automatically assume that kids will be issued mouth protectors; aside from football, parents generally need to initiate this.

8 – Helmets Should Be Like Seatbelts.

Children should always wear helmet when riding bicycles, roller skating or roller blading or using scooters even if they are just riding around the block or in the neighborhood. Teach your children that helmets are like seatbelts—not optional.

9 – If Child Falls.

If your child has a fall of any kind—whether they are in pre-school or high school—they should see the school nurse immediately, followed by a visit to the dentist. Sometimes problems do not appear right away, but–like a bruise–develop over time. Something that may appear as a small cosmetic defect can actually affect the root of an adult tooth. That is why it’s important to bring your child to the dentist after a fall in order to establish a base line over time.

10 – If A Tooth Gets Knocked Out.

From third grade up, if a child has a front tooth knocked loose, it may be a permanent tooth. If a tooth is knocked out, it needs to be put back in the mouth immediately. Do not scrub the tooth even if it is visibly soiled (you can very gently rinse it), but even water can kill cells on the root of the tooth. There is a 30 minute differential between keeping and losing the tooth, so make sure the tooth is put back into the mouth within five to 10 minutes.

11 – Kids and Pain.

Most kids don’t complain about tooth pain because cavities don’t hurt until they are infected. Children who don’t have good teeth—missing, discolored or damaged teeth—are often treated differently by both peers and teachers. Studies have shown that teachers are less likely to call on children with bad teeth, and a child who is in pain due to infected teeth cannot concentrate or pay attention.

12 – Braces.

It’s very important for children to take care of their gums when they have braces. Good oral hygiene is even more important during the teenage years when hormones change the flora of the mouth. Because it can be difficult to brush around braces, plaque can build up and cause “demineralization,” leading to permanent damage to adult teeth, such as white spots. Imagine the disappointment when braces are removed to reveal straight, spotted teeth. This can be prevented through the use of special mouth washes for children with braces.

Our Care Team at NOAH are here to help you create and manage your healthy lifestyle habits. Need help setting or sticking to your goals? Request an appointment or call 480-882-4545 today!