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Community Involvement

Giving back to the community has been a very important part of our dental office since Dr. LaCap and Dr. Tong first opened our doors. As a child, Dr. LaCap’s dentist frequently provided her family with free care because they wouldn’t have been able to afford it otherwise, and since then, she has dedicated herself to paying this forward. That’s why, every year, Smile More Dentistry hosts multiple days where both underserved families and veterans can get complimentary dental services. Our dental office also frequently donates to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise breast cancer awareness as well as the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

flyer flyer

Our office prides itself on diversity and inclusivity.  We care about our patients, our community and our smile team.  Every year we choose a charitable organizations to align with and donate to.  This year we have chosen New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome (NJCTS) because one of our wonderful smile team members, Amanda was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of 5.  Amanda is an inspiration to us.  She has overcome so much in her life.  In spite of her situation, she goes above and beyond in helping our patients achieve health and confidence thought a healthy and beautiful smile.

Click here for Amanda’s story.

Amanda's Story

I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of 5. My parents noticed something wasn’t right when they would ask me to stop humming, and I didn’t realize I was even doing anything. My first symptoms were humming, skipping, and eye blinking. My parents took me to several different specialists. After several tries and one wrong diagnosis, I finally got a diagnosis to explain what was going on: I had Tourette Syndrome.

Having this new label made me feel self-conscious as a child. I did not want to be teased or thought of as different. I was so scared of being teased by my peers that I trained my body to hold in my tics all throughout the day so nobody would notice. However, like a sneeze or an itch, the more you hold something in, the more it wants to come out. My nights in elementary school were filled with exhaustion and full-blown tic attacks, sometimes causing severe harm to myself in the process. My parents would be in tears because there was no way they could help, and they just had to watch me suffer until the symptoms passed.

I was very shy as a result of hiding my diagnosis, and my mom had heard of an organization that helped kids like me. We went to an event held by the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome, and there I met my role model, Tim Howard. Now a famous world cup goalie and international sensation, he was just a teen then, and recently had just signed on to join his first professional team. I had just started playing soccer as a goalie, so to me, he was my inspiration. If he could play professional soccer with TS, then what would stop me from achieving my goals?

My parents were such great advocates for me as a child and made sure I had everything I needed to succeed. As I got older, my mom taught me to advocate for myself, since they couldn’t always be there to protect me and that I should be honest with my friends about having Tourette’s. The most important lesson I learned was that if someone cannot accept my TS, then they wouldn’t be a good friend to have and I do not need them in my life. 

When I was fourteen, I was invited to meet other teens who also had Tourette Syndrome. I was both nervous and excited to meet kids who have gone through the same experience. At that meeting, I learned how to educate others about my condition in a way that they could understand. From then on, I started making presentations to my classmates and peers. During these presentations, I finally found the confidence to let everyone know that I had Tourette’s; to my complete surprise, they were all accepting of me and most didn’t even realize that I had the disorder. This gave me the confidence to keep presenting to other classes, letting them know what Tourette Syndrome was and what it was like to live with it.

The same year, I had the opportunity to go to Washington D. C. for the national Tourette Syndrome Association conference. The experience to meet kids from all over the country was life changing. I was chosen to represent the state of New Jersey to advocate on Capitol Hill to legislators and state senators, sharing my experience living with Tourette Syndrome. Being able to share my story and educate them about TS made me feel like I was truly making a difference.

Since then, I have educated almost three thousand people on what TS is and what is feels like to have the disorder. Being able to share my personal experience has helped people to understand better about Tourette’s and has helped doctors in treating and diagnosing patients as well. My diagnosis led to my passion for helping others, and for that I am truly blessed. I am grateful to work in an environment that allows me to pursue my passion and help create a healthier and happier community.

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocal (phonic) sounds called tics. In a few cases, such tics can include inappropriate words and phrases. (Check out our FAQs)To learn more about Tourette Syndrome, click here.

On May 22 at 2:30, our office will be participating with NJ Walks for TS.  NJ Walks for TS promotes awareness, acceptance, action, and advocacy of Tourette Syndrome and its associated disorders. This event is about fun and empowerment for kids, by kids, and about kids. It is a chance to stand up and step out to break the stigma attached to TS and show your support for our friends, family, and neighbors living with this misunderstood neurological disorder. All funds raised support our various programs including education outreach, scholarships and awareness.  Click here to donate.

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