Seeks to Conquer Oral Health Problems Through Education and Prevention

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Dr. Fred Ferguson, President of About Smiles, Inc., is on a quest to help millions of people avoid the most common chronic health issues plaguing the world today. A small business competition from Chase Bank may help his company fulfill its mission.

According to a report from the U.S. Surgeon General's Office, oral health problems are the most common chronic illnesses affecting the well-being of Americans.

Poor oral health has been linked to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and skeletal bone health (Surgeon General's Oral Health Report, 2000). According to the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General, the most common chronic illnesses are now tooth decay, gingivitis (bleeding gums), periodontitis (bone loss around teeth), and oral malodor (bad breath). Dr. Fred Ferguson, founder of, has been on a mission to correct this problem by helping people learn how their diet, lifestyle, and self-care habits impact oral health. is an interactive oral health education and monitoring website created by Dr. Ferguson, a pediatric dentist and professor of dentistry at Stony Brook University. Through partnerships with insurance companies, schools, businesses, communities, and non-profit organizations, the website has already helped many thousands of people to improve their oral health awareness and self-care habits. is now competing for a $250,000 small business grant from Chase Bank that could help the fledgling site reach and help millions of people.

Chase Bank’s “Mission Main Street Grants” will award 12 grants to winners of the competition. Dr. Ferguson’s company, About Smiles, Inc., entered the Mission Main Street contest with the goal of rapidly expanding, so the company can soon reach millions of kids and adults across the U.S.

The company became eligible for the competition by receiving more than 250 votes from supporters before the contest’s November 15th deadline. To date, the site has received close to 300 votes. Supporters can still show their support by clicking on a “vote now” banner at Winners will be chosen by a panel of experts, which includes representatives from Google, Chase, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations.

As a pediatric dentist who has worked with high-risk kids for 30+ years, Dr. Ferguson created because he was seeing so many children (and parents) suffering with serious, but preventable oral health problems. These issues, which include early childhood caries, gum disease, and other more serious problems, can seriously impact overall health, school performance and self-esteem.

According to Dr. Ferguson, “I was inspired to build because oral health issues are now the most common chronic health problems affecting millions worldwide. With, we have a unique opportunity to empower people with information and tools to avoid these issues.” is a patent-pending online tool, which uses a series of customized online questionnaires, to help parents, kids, and others understand how their habits, diet, and lifestyle impact their oral health. According to Dr. Ferguson, winning the grant would help the company launch a Spanish language version of the site, build a new mobile app, and promote the service through many more partners. Major health insurance companies, such as NY-based HealthPlex, Inc., have been offering MySmileGuide’s online tools to their plan members to promote oral health awareness and improve self-care habits. The site has also been used by a number of schools and universities as part of their health education and promotion efforts.

Through Mission Main Street Grants, Chase will award a total of $3 million to 12 small businesses. In addition to winning $250,000 to help them succeed, the 12 grant recipients will be eligible for a trip to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA for an exclusive small business workshop with online marketing experts. The 12 winning businesses will be announced in January 2014.

Fans can show support by voting for at its website or by visiting: by November 15th.

About is a unique, highly secure online education and self-assessment tool that helps parents, kids, and others understand how habits, diet, and lifestyle affect their oral health. Through partnerships with schools, universities, health insurers, community groups and other organizations, improves access to (and awareness about) oral health solutions. The website is a service of About Smiles, Inc. For more info, visit:

About Mission Main Street Grants
Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to small business, Chase launched Mission Main Street Grants, a program that will award 12 grants of $250,000 to small businesses across America.

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