The problem: Nearly 4 billion people around the world suffer from untreated oral diseases like cavities and gingivitis.
The solution: "Sweet Bites," a chewing gum that is enhanced with xylitol to clean teeth and prevent disease. Not only could the invention help the world make strides in oral health, but its creators also hope to have entrepreneurial women sell it in poor communities, helping spur economic development.
2. A mouth guard that can detect concussions
The problem: Detecting a concussion is difficult, and unknowingly allowing athletes to play with one can cause a lifetime of brain damage.
The solution: Mamori, which is Japanese for "protect," is a mouthguard with built-in sensors that can send alerts to players and coaches when a collision is intense enough to cause a concussion.
3. An Internet-enabled, portable hand sanitizer
The problem: One in four hospital patients in America gets sick just from being in the hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the fact that hand washing reduces these cases of illness by up to 40 percent, there are few systems to ensure that hospital workers consistently wash.
The solution: A new tool, SwipeSense, aims to revolutionize hand sanitizers by making them portable and connected to the grid. Hospitals can monitor their staff's use through an app and ensure that far fewer people contract preventable sicknesses inside hospitals.
4. A smokeless solar cooker for developing countries
The problem: Cooking in the developing world often requires large amounts of costly fuel and creates harmful smoke as a byproduct.
The solution: The Infinity Bakery and other similar solar ovens aim to reduce disease and save energy by offering an affordable, sun-powered cooker to developing communities. The oven, which concentrates the sun's rays, is made from recycled oil drums, wood, bamboo and clay, so it can be produced locally and quickly.