Dr. Catrise Austin spills the tea on the bag it cost to fix Cardi B’s teeth, her celebrity clientele, and her run in with Russell Simmons & RUN DMC at age 12.
“You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile…”
When Cardi B rapped, “Got a bag and fixed my teeth, hope you ho’s know it ain’t cheap!” on the platinum selling record, Bodak Yellow, I felt that! We all felt that! How many times did we see a celebrity with teeth that could use a little extra attention and wonder why they chose to spend the bag on everything, but their teeth?
According to Dr. Catrise Austin, Cardi B’s dentist and dentist to the stars, Cardi was not lying when she said it cost a bag. Dr. Austin says that the procedure Cardi received, costs on average approximately $12,500! That’s equivalent to approximately 4 or 5 pairs of bloody shoes. Don’t worry if you don’t have the bag, Dr. Austin offers financing to fix your teeth, up to 7 years.
Shout out to Cardi, for being responsible with the fruits of her labor by investing in an appreciating investment such as teeth. Dr. Austin agrees that investing in your teeth is an investment that will last you well into your 80s, unlike, a car that depreciates the moment you take it off the lot. I had the opportunity to chat with the jet-setting celebrity dentist and learn about her journey as an African-American dentist to the stars.
Tynee` Sims: What does the phrase “You’re never fully dressed without a smile” mean to you?
Dr. Catrise Austin: No matter what hairstyle or clothes you have on, you are not ready until you have a confident white smile. Studies have shown that whiter teeth increases your chances of going on a 2nd date over yellow teeth.
Tynee`: Wow! So glad my teeth are white and poppin’! What got you into the business of teeth?
Dr. Austin: I hated my teeth growing up; they were spread out and bucked! For my 15th birthday, my Mom surprised me with braces. I wore them for a year. After they were removed, my whole life changed! I became popular, I got my first boyfriend, and I joined the Pom-Pom Squad at Central High School in Flint, Michigan. My transformation inspired me to be a dentist.
Tynee`: How did you become a dentist to the stars?
Dr. Austin: After dental school, around ’96-’97, I moved to Brooklyn, New York to do my dental residency. Since I was living on a budget, I found this comedy club, called Boston Comedy Club in the Village that catered to my budgetary needs. New York was poppin’ with entertainment; I was able to see young comedians like Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, and Tracy Morgan perform for $5!
Tynee`: Five dollars!? That’s a lick!
Dr. Austin: LOL, Yes, five dollars! I went to the comedy club every week. I started telling the comedians I was a dentist and they could come get their teeth cleaned. They were so impressed that I was so young, black, and a dentist, that they started inviting me with them to their shows. I began printing up business cards that read: Dr. Catrise Austin, Dentist to the Stars.
Tynee`: Even though you weren’t a dentist to the stars yet?
Dr. Austin: Yep, sometimes you have to fake it ‘til you make it!
Tynee`: I heard that!
Dr. Austin: A few months later, I was at Diddy’s restaurant, Justin’s, where I spotted Isaac Hayes. I waited for the opportunity interrupt him. I told him I was a dentist. He had me sit at his table for the rest of the evening. He also, was impressed that I was a young, Black dentist. Long story short, he took me on tour with him and he became my first celebrity client.
Tynee`: Did you always set out to be a celebrity dentist?
Dr. Austin: I always knew I wanted to be around celebrities. My mother was a young mom, she had me at 17 years old, and she was always taking me to concerts with her. I developed a love for concerts and living a certain lifestyle. When I was 12 years old, RUN DMC, came to my hometown of Flint, MI. They performed at the Rollette Skating Rink. Before their show, I slipped a note under their dressing room door. Right before their performance Russell Simmons got on stage and asked who slipped the note under the door. I yelled, “MEEEEEE!” After the show, they allowed me to come back stage and take pics with RUN DMC.
Tynee`: So you knew then you were destined to be with celebrities?
Dr. Austin: YES!
Tynee`: What did you enjoy most about servicing Cardi B?
Dr. Austin: I enjoyed servicing her. She’s fun to work with and she allowed me to tape the entire procedure. She was honest and open and inspired the world to do something about their teeth, if they’re unhappy.
Dr. Catrise Austin is the owner of VIP smiles, based in New York City. She is a licensed dentist in Washington, D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey. Dr. Austin will soon be opening up a practice in her home city, Flint, Michigan. Dr. Austin wants you to know that you can level up your smile anytime by purchasing her new line of smile products. Visit: vipsmilesstore.com.