The team at Washington Dental Associates. Front row, l.-r.: Dr. Yale Lee, Dr. Mariliza Lacap and Dr. Darren Tong. Back row, l.-r.: Laarni Villajuan, Letty Morales, Lindsay Calderon, Joanne Pascual, Christina Anthony and Lisa LaFazia.

BERGENFIELD, N.J. — Dr. Mariliza Lacap, her husband, Dr. Darren Tong, and their dental team will provide a day of free preventive and emergency dental care for underprivileged children ages 16 and younger as part of the National Children’s Dental Health Month.

This will be their seventh year in providing this most needed service.

Last year, they provided more than $25,000 worth of dentistry to children in the Bergen County area.

True to their image, Washington Dental Associates (Smile More, Live More Center) has been known by the Filipino community as the Dental Office with a Heart.

The program, called “Give Kids A Smile,” will be held on Feb. 10 (Friday) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Washington Dental Associates located at 19 Legion Drive in Bergenfield, N.J.

Our office is one of the few offices in the Bergen County area participating in this program.

Last year, more than 48,000 dental team members nationwide participated in “Give Kids A Smile.”

It’s heartbreaking to see a child’s smile destroyed by severe tooth decay.

Imagine not being able to eat, sleep or pay attention in school because you have a mouthful of toothaches.

It’s tragic.

Nearly 1 in 4 children, aged 2 to 11 years old have untreated cavities in their baby teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While poor diet and oral hygiene certainly play a role, cavities are actually caused by a disease called caries, which is five times more common than asthma.

“Giving back to the community that has supported our office is very important to us. We are hoping to help children whose parents cannot afford to provide dental health care to their children. Sometimes people need a helping hand...this is our way of showing we care. All team members and doctors from this office volunteer their services and time on this special day. We are an office who believes in providing dentistry from the heart,” said Dr. LaCap.

“This program will touch the lives of so many of New Jersey’s children who need oral healthcare and instruction. I am proud to be a part of it. Our focus this year is the Filipino community,” said Dr. Tong, a Columbia University alumnus who has been practicing dentistry for over 20 years with his wife, Dr. Lacap.

Qualified children whose parents are out of a job, struggling financially or just need a helping hand should call and make an appointment.

The office plans to see at least 60 children.

“These appointments fill up quickly. We usually have to turn people away,” says Laarni, the front office manager.

The children will receive a comprehensive dental exam, any emergency treatment, oral healthcare instruction, fluoride treatment and free dental hygiene material, including toothbrush, toothpaste and floss.

If your children or any children you know qualifies for this program, please call their office at 201.384.2425 and mention the “Give Kids A Smile” program.

They are also looking for more dental assistants or hygienists to volunteer their time on this special day of giving, please give them a call or visit their website at and click on “Giving back to the Community.”

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