Cardi was so pleased with Dr. Austin’s work that she gave her a shout-out in “Bodak Yellow,” rapping, “I’m the hottest in the street, know you prolly heard of me / Got a bag and fixed my teeth, hope you hoes know it ain’t cheap.” – Cardi B
Dr. Catrise Austin is the smile doctor not only giving people a great smile but, restoring their self-confidence. She works with anyone and everyone to get them smiling a toothy smile. The list of celebrities that she has worked with include Cardi B., DJ Khaled and Toni Braxton. Working with high profile individuals is a residual affect of following her childhood dream.
It isn’t a joke when that Dr. Austin knew she wanted to be a dentist at a young age. As a kid growing up in Queens, she had spaces between her teeth, some were flared and overall her teeth were too long. She was called Bugs Bunny a lot and as a result became an extreme introvert. For her 15th birthday her Mom surprised her with braces and everything changed. “My Mom was a single mom and had other responsibilities,” Dr. Austin said. It clearly was a big deal that she was able to wear braces for a year to correct her teeth.
Because of her new smile Dr. Austin’s confidence soared. She was more extroverted, had more friends, got her first boyfriend and even joined the dance squad. That is when she decided that she wanted to spread the good feeling of confidence. She set out to do just that. She was accepted to University of Michigan. “When I asked my Mom about my college fund I learned there wasn’t one,” she remembers. Un-phased Dr. Austin went about finding scholarships so that she could attend college. Her senior year at University of Michigan she did a mini internship in oral surgery.
When it was time to fund her degree in dentistry, she applied to scholarships for women and African Americans in healthcare. She called on her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and applied for their scholarships. She scored high on the DAT, Dental Admission Test, and was accepted to University of Maryland’s dental program, getting a degree in general dentistry.
There is a covet in her road to private practice; Dr. Austin did a year at NYU’s Lutheran Medical Center. That means she was on call and saw dental emergencies. “I learned to make quick decisions and became a problem solver,” she says. She also learned to work in a team environment, seeing people with broken jaws and other injuries affecting the mouth, which as a result affects an individual’s teeth. This stint at Lutheran Medical gave Dr. Austin a comprehensive knowledge of the entire body which has helped her advise patients on best courses of action to address their dental needs.
Once in private practice Dr. Austin focused on helping people improve their smiles. Her target demographic is 25-60-year-old patients that want to improve their health and their smile. “There are older people that may have gotten a divorce and want to get back in the game. They come to me to improve their smile. I have put braces on 50-year old individuals.” Dr. Austin is helping patients get their sexy back but, giving them a new smile.
She helped people from all walks of life, including members of the New York City Police Department, to kids going off to college, to celebrities. “When there is a will there is a way. I have worked with people that save for years to get their smile fixed. When you value your smile, you’ll be willing to finance your smile,” Dr. Austin states. It is no wonder that her favorite hashtag is #queenofsmiles.
Cardi B. is one of her latest works of art. There were so many negative comments on social media about her teeth, Cardi B. decided to do something about it. She went to Dr. Austin. Procedures usually last all day and from start to finish, the process for a full smile make over is roughly two weeks. Since Cardi B. went public, praising Dr. Austin for her work, business has increased tremendously.
There is more to Dr. Austin then putting her hands in people’s mouths. She is a multi-faceted woman, writing books and speaking to audiences about the importance of oral health. Her book “Stop Diabetes Today” discusses just that-the link between gum disease and diabetes. Dr. Austin authored another book “Get Smiled! – The Ultimate Guide To Improving Your Image With Your Greatest Asset- YOUR SMILE!” Both can be found on Amazon.
Her goal is to become the Dr. Oz of oral health. “Dental health is not a topic you get a lot of medical information about.” It is true and that is why Dr. Austin has begun talking to groups about the subject. She addressed a sea of business people at Harvard recently regarding their smile and its importance. She is also going to dental schools and speaking to dental students to encourage them to follow their passion and give them advice about what to do after school.
Dr. Austin went from being the kid with braces to the woman that exudes self confidence and of course a great smile! Having built her practice from scratch where no one knew her name to having people fly in from around the world to utilize her skills, it is clear why the next generation of dentists would be inspired by her.
You can learn more about Dr. Catrise and inquire about speaking engagements by visiting www.thequeenofsmiles.com, following her on Twitter @DrCatriseAustin or InstaGram drcatriseaustin.
About the writer: Catherine Brinkman has a sales career spanning 2 decades. She has won numerous awards including Rookie of the Year and Silver Sales Associate for Dale Carnegie, a global training company. In early 2016, Catherine started her own consulting business, partnering with sales and marketing teams to increase revenue. She works with everyone from Silicon Valley giants to small startups. She has a fun, comic approach to her consulting, having studied satirical writing at The Second City. She can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @catbrinkman