ESSENCE Network: Celebrity Dentist Catrise Austin Tells How A Great Smile is Good for Your Career and Health

Before the sweets of the holidays take over, celebrity dentist Dr. Catrise Austin wants you to remember a great smile is good for your health and career. See how she feel in love with dentistry and what habits you should have for your best smile.

Name: Dr. Catrise Austin
Age: 44
Title: Owner, New York City Cosmetic and General Dentistry
Twitter: @drcatriseaustin

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Her passion: One of the first things that people will notice about you is your smile. It’s your greeting card and your business card all in one.  I am a cosmetic dentist, author of 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile and Winning The Fight Against Diabetes and a national spokesperson for Colgate Total and the American Diabetes Association. The best thing about my job is transforming my clients smiles which can be life changing!

Her journey: Dentistry changed my life personally.  Growing up I never felt confident about my smile and was embarrassed my teeth were spaced and flared.  It made me an introvert.  At 15, I had a dental visit and my dentist asked if I'd be interested in braces.  I didn't think my single mother could invest in my smile but when the dentist talked with my mother she decided to see me happy with an improved smile.  She sacrificed to get the braces I desperately wanted.  When my braces were removed a year later, I was a new person! I felt more confident, became more socially involved in high school and made new friends. I knew at that moment I wanted to become a dentist and change lives as my live had been changed with dentistry. 

Get your best smile: Brush 2-3 times each day to remove hidden bacteria above the gum line and floss after meals to remove hidden bacteria. Visit your dental team every 6 months for professional care and you'll have a smile worthy of the red carpet. Bad dental hygiene can lead to serious illnesses including diabetes. Now more than ever, with increased competition at work, a healthy, confident smile can be your calling card to success.

Confessions a Black woman dentist: Dentistry has traditionally been a male dominated industry.  When I started the practice 16 years ago, being a Black woman business owner at age 28 on 57th St. in New York was very unique. I've had to earn respect from staff, peers and even patients who have traditionally only dealt with male dentists. Being a Black women in dentistry definitely helped me get noticed more because I was unique.  People who were looking to support Black dentists and physicians flocked to support me

Her biggest lesson learned: My top mistake has been hiring staff that were not a good fit for my business.  I've learned to become a better judge of character, to do better background assessments, and hire employees that appear to have the same passion for dentistry as I have. 

Her career highlight: My biggest career accomplishment would be making history as the first private practice dentist in the nation to routinely offer Rapid HIV testing to my dental patients.

Her stress relievers: In my downtime I love going to comedy shows, live music show, swimming and cooking. I will also travel all over the world to see my favorite artist of all time....Prince!

Her tech fix: I'm in love with my new Samsung Galaxy Smart Camera and use it to shoot all my videos and photos.  I love that you can instantly upload to Dropbox and share on social media. 

Her beauty bag: Opi nail polish, Color Tattoo 24 hr eye shadows, Angel by Thierry Mugler perfume and lashes, lashes, lashes!

Her power style accessory: I love necklaces of all sorts, especially chokers! 

Her mantra: Work hard, play twice as hard! I'm pretty hard to reach during the week because I'm focused, but when it's over, I live life to the fullest.  I take lots of mini-vacations.

Her theme song: "Flawless" by Beyonce

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