As a celebrity cosmetic dentist who regularly works with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, famous athletes, singers, actresses, and others wanting to improve their smile, it was finally my turn to get some work done on my own pearly whites! In this blog post, I'll share my veneers before and after experience. My name is Dr. Catrise Austin, also known as The Queen of Smiles™. I'm super excited to share my personal story of The Power of A Smile.
Growing Up I Lacked Confidence In My Smile
To be a Queen and ruler of anything suggests that you are a confident and empowered leader, but I can tell you that for most of my childhood I wasn't confident or comfortable with myself at all. You see, I spent most of my youth hiding behind something, and that something was...my smile because I was embarrassed about my teeth! When I was growing up, I hated my teeth because they were too long, they stuck out, and there were multiple spaces between my teeth. Every day in the schoolyard I'd hear "There's bugs bunny"! The other kids thought that it was funny, but it was no laughing matter to me. When I look back at those times, the name-calling and feeling like an outcast really hurt my feelings. I was ridiculed to the point where I just kept to myself and avoided the other kids at all costs.
Although I wanted to improve my smile, I knew, or assumed, that my single-parent mother wouldn't be able to afford to help me get the braces that I desperately wanted.... so I never asked. I was a great pretender. I smiled through the pain and pretended I was a happy kid, but deep down I felt so lonely which held me back from fully enjoying my childhood. I thought that this was just the way life would be forever.
My Life's Journey and Purpose Began In High School
When I reached high school, you know that pivotal time when you want to belong, I reached my breaking point! For once in my life, I really wanted to fit in and maybe be one of the cool kids. And this is when my life's journey and purpose began. At the age of 15 years old what I thought was supposed to be a simple routine dental check-up and teeth cleaning visit turned into my mother surprising me with the braces that I needed to finally correct my smile! This dental visit changed my life forever.
The magic of my initial smile transformation was so profound that I decided that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping other people experience this same magic. My transformation is the reason why I knew a career as a dentist was my calling! From my magical experience of wearing braces to transform my own smile for just 1 year, I've come to realize over the years that having a beautiful smile isn't a luxury, it's a necessity! Come on, let's face it, in our beauty-conscious society, one of the first things that people will notice about you is your smile. Your is your smile is your greeting card, your business card, your resume, and your invitation card all in one!
The Power Of A Great Smile
A great smile has magical powers. Studies show that the majority of Americans today believe that having an attractive smile can have a positive impact on getting the job of your dreams, succeeding at work, finding the perfect mate, and even making new friends. Never EVER underestimate the power of your smile!
But with most good stories, there is always a twist. About 10 years later I faced the challenge that many people who wear braces face, I stopped wearing my retainer and I had a relapse. That’s right, my gap opened up again! All of that money that my mother spent and the hard work of wearing braces in high school went down the drain. This time my teeth didn’t flare out like before and I didn’t have multiple spaces, but my signature childhood gap between my upper 2 front teeth was back. There was no way in the world that I was going to wear metal braces again. I was too old and too cute for that!
The Tooth Shift
In the late ’90s, a revolutionary alternative to metal braces called Invisalign was developed. A clear removable plastic aligner that could discretely move teeth…what miracle product! In 2001, I decided it was time to close my gap again with Invisalign. I wore them for a year and loved the experience of being able to close my gap without the embarrassment of wearing unsightly metal braces. I loved that the aligners fit my lifestyle. I enjoyed having the freedom to remove them when I needed to eat, speak, had an important meeting, or a hot date. It was wonderful! When I completed my treatment I was advised to wear my Invisalign retainer every night for the rest of my life.
I wore my retainers religiously for another 10 years and then I got lazy. I started to slowly but surely slip with consistently wearing my retainers, just like some of my patients. It didn’t take long to experience another tooth shift. In just months, my gap started to relapse and re-open.
The Opportunity Of A Lifetime To Get My Own Smile Makeover!
For the next 10 years from 2011-2021, I started to convince myself that maybe the gap was not so bad and maybe it was just meant to be. Besides, I had built a community of social media followers, a close-knit group of friends, and family who actually praised and complimented me on keeping the gap and keeping it real. Anytime I’d talk about closing the gap again they would say “No! It’s your trademark”, “Your gap is fine”, or “You are beautiful with the gap”! And they were right. It had been a part of me, a family trait passed down from my grandma Carlene, and yes I’m a hottie with or without the gap…doesn’t matter. But in April 2021, an opportunity of a lifetime to take my smile to the next level came my way.
I got a call from my good friend cosmetic dentist Dr. Sharel Sly of Houston. She said, “Hey girl, I’m coming to New York to take an advanced porcelain veneer course with celebrity dentist Dr. Larry Rosenthal, do you know anybody that would be interested in getting veneers?”. I immediately thought to myself, maybe I should get veneers! I mean, I’ve been performing veneers for over 20 years on my clients (the most notable being Cardi B), but I never seriously thought about getting them myself. I always thought, who would I trust to do my veneers? When could I make the time in my schedule to actually get my teeth done? Would I have to get extensive and painful surgery to eliminate my gummy smile? I had so many reasons why I never explored porcelain veneers as an option for myself. But here was an opportunity of a lifetime to have a team of experienced cosmetic dentists totally rock my smile, one of them being a true legend in cosmetic dentistry.
I had to make a split decision because the clock was running out and within a week, I needed to get a check-up, X-rays, gum evaluation, and moldings so that the dental lab could design my new smile. I also needed to get a COVID test. After briefly thinking about the joy and confidence that many of my clients have felt over the years after I transformed their smiles with porcelain dental veneers, as well as how I could literally skip another year of aligners by doing veneers…I said “Yes” and the journey immediately began!
I Decide To Document My Veneers Before and After Journey
On social media, I’m usually pretty transparent with my audience and I enjoy taking them through my life experiences and what’s coming up in my life. This time, I decided not to spill the beans right away. No one was expecting this sudden transformation, especially after I had just publicly proclaimed that I was 100% on #TeamGap along with Good Morning America host Michael Strahan who had recently pranked the world on April Fools Day by pretending to close his signature gap. Instead, I decided to document my journey visit by visit with a Vlog. If you have ever wondered what the process and experience of getting porcelain dental veneers was like, get ready because I take you behind the scenes of my smile makeover from start to finish in my YouTube video!
From my own smile transformation, I truly understand what my patients feel who come to me for a porcelain veneers procedure. I can relate 100% to the anxiety, concerns about the final outcome, the excitement, the annoying in the chair experiences of getting numb, wet, and hearing the sound of the drill, wearing temporary veneers between visits, the anticipation of getting the final veneers, and finally how amazing it feels to be transformed.
With My New Smile, My Confidence Has Skyrocketed!
For me, this was the best decision ever! I get complimented on my new smile every single day and I can’t lie…It feels incredible. I was already confident, but with my new smile, my confidence has skyrocketed. When I smile in my pictures and videos I see a glow, I feel a glow too. Finally, I’m representing the Catrise that I always wanted to be from a little girl, both inside and out.
Right now anyone who is not happy with their smile has 2 choices.
1. You can either continue on the path of feeling unhappy, insecure, and held back from going on to the next level in your career, social, or love life.
2. You can do something about it and take action right away.
Cosmetic Dentistry Can Change Your Life
In my smile “queendom” I serve the world's top influencers and business people who understand the true money-making power of a dazzling smile! Maybe you've avoided the dentist because of fear, or you had a concern that it would be too painful, or maybe just didn't think that you could afford it. I'm here for you as your dental expert and your smile coach and I'll walk you step by step through the options that are available to help you achieve a beautiful and confident smile.
If you believe in The Power of a Smile just know that a brighter future awaits you. Cosmetic dentistry has truly changed my life and as The Queen of Smiles™, I can change yours too!!! If you have been considering getting porcelain veneers, click here to see if you are a candidate.