When it comes to the health of your teeth and gums, preventive dental care is smart. Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque from the surfaces and in between teeth, keeping your teeth looking and feeling clean. A healthy diet, one low in sugar and other refined carbohydrates, helps keep your whole body, including your teeth and gums, in good shape. And routine dental exams and regular cleanings may help prevent the incidence of higher-cost treatments such as periodontal surgery, root canals, extractions and fillings. After all, early detection and prevention are key to minimizing your need for more serious dental treatment.