black people and money

Cardi B’s dentist Dr. Catrise L. Austin helps masses craft winning smiles

Cardi B’s dentist Dr. Catrise L. Austin helps masses craft winning smiles

New York-based celebrity cosmetic dentist Catrise L. Austin, DDS, has spent the past two decades transforming smiles for singles looking for love, business people, celebrities, and anyone looking to enjoy life with a beautiful and more confident smile. Researchers with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that a beautiful smile will not only make you more attractive, it also makes you appear more intelligent, interesting, successful, and wealthy to others as well. A few years ago, Dr. Austin got a chance to test this theory when she was called by VH1 reality TV show Love and Hip Hop New York to transform the smile of its breakout star rapper Cardi B.

“Cardi B was constantly ridiculed on social media about her less than perfect smile. In just two visits, we transformed Cardi B’s smile with porcelain veneers and literally changed her life,” says Dr. Austin, author of GetSmiled and The Ultimate Guide to Charcoal Teeth Whitening. “When the smile transformation debuted on the premiere episode of the seventh season of Love and Hip Hop New York, it sparked nationwide smile makeover frenzy!”

A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Dr. Austin is living her dreams by helping consumers from all over the world feel the power of a smile. She recently launched an affordable teeth whitening and oral care product line called VIP Smiles. Now consumers everywhere can experience a taste of the smile magic she brings to her patients in her practice from the comforts of their own homes.

“Having a beautiful and confident smile can have a positive impact on every aspect of people’s lives including improving their career success, social life, and even finding love,” adds Dr. Austin, who has been featured on media outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC, and TMZ.

During an interview with The History Makers, Dr. Austin said she was motivated to start her own practice while working as a dental hygienist. She has shared insights from two decades of commercial success with Financial Juneteenth.

FJ: What makes a successful entrepreneur?

CA: “I think that success is what you as an entrepreneur define it as. If you create a goal in business (big or small) and you achieve it, then you are a successful entrepreneur. If you start and stay in business longer than 5 years, you are successful. Some people will define success by money or owning expensive material things. For me, I feel like a successful entrepreneur when I helped someone and changed their lives with my cosmetic dentistry work. Or, knowing that I am inspiring someone with my work, like an aspiring dentist or another entrepreneur (or inspiring entrepreneur). That’s success.”

Dr. Austin authored The Ultimate Guide to Charcoal Teeth Whitening.

FJ: How does someone turn an idea into a reality?

CA: “I believe that turning an idea into a reality starts with having a vision. It can be a to-do list, a written plan, or many people create vision boards. You have to see your ideas and refer to them frequently to take action on them and make them come true. I also think that it is essential to have an accountability partner, you know, someone who can check in on you to make sure you are staying on track. Next, it’s about finding the proper resources to help you make it happen. Those resources are financial resources, expert advisors, podcasts, website, blogs, or books that give you the resources you need to make it happen. Then you just have to be laser focused and just do it.Don’t give up until you reach your goals!”

FJ: What inspired you to offer your affordable teeth whitening products?

CA: “I’ve had a goal of owning my own dental product line for many years but I just didn’t know what the product would be and the timing was never right because I was running a super busy cosmetic dentistry practice in New York City. I recently sold that practice. The defining moment that inspired me to go for it was the massive response that I got after I transformed the smile of rapper Cardi B during her time on Love and Hip Hop. I started to get people from all over the world contacting me. People of all ages, races, careers, and economic backgrounds were inspired by her new smile and inquired about improving their smiles too. Many of them didn’t mind traveling—from near and far—to visit my office in New York. But, many people either couldn’t afford to travel to me or they didn’t have the budget to get a smile makeover. So, I found a way to bring quality teeth whitening products to the entire world for an affordable fee so that everyone can experience “The Power of a Smile” as Cardi B did! When people ask me, ‘what some of the tricks that celebrities do to improve their smiles are?’ I always tell them to start with a teeth cleaning and teeth whitening. Then, you can always upgrade to advanced procedures like porcelain veneers if need be. Even a one-hour teeth whitening session can cost $500-$700 in a dental office. Now with my products, you can use the same techniques at home to get the same results, for under $100.”

FJ: What is your favorite business tool?

CA: “My cell phone. Hands down. I use it 24/7 for meeting new customers and prospects, connecting with my existing tribe on social media, for marketing, for learning how to improve my business, for motivation and breakthroughs, and more!”

FJ: What was the hardest lesson that you’ve learned so far? 

CA: “Maya Angelou used always to say, ‘When people show you who they are, believe them.’ I’d add, that you should believe them the first time. I’ve always wanted to see the good in people and trusted that people in my personal and business circles were trustworthy, had good character, and good intentions. I learned the hard way not to trust by nature, so quickly. I’m not so quick to give second chances. Also, not everybody is meant to be in your life for a lifetime. Sometimes it’s for a season for you to get a lesson and that’s ok.”

Please note: Yvette N. Harris contributed to this report.

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Zach Rinkins is an award-winning journalist, speaker, and author.

Zach Rinkins is an award-winning speaker, journalist, and author of I Am College Material! Your Guide to Unlimited College, Career, and Life Success (Australia Publishing). Zach connects a national audience to thought leaders, trendsetters, and decision makers through his nationally syndicated Rinkins Report. He is a respected and highly requested speaker. Find out more at

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