Preventive dentistry is the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy. This helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and more. There are many forms of preventive dentistry, such as daily brushing and dental cleanings. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease—and can help you keep your teeth as you get older. … An unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.