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Healthy Food and Drink for Toddlers' Teeth

mom watching toddler girl drink a beverage



Baby teeth may not last a lifetime, but they do need care and attention. Here's some advice on protecting your toddler's teeth with careful food and drink choices.

Many foods and beverages are sugary and acidic - both of which are harmful to your toddler’s teeth. To reduce the risks:

  • Do not offer your toddler sugary beverages like pop, punch, or slush drinks.
  • Offer your toddler drinks from a regular cup, not a sip cup or bottle.
  • Avoid letting your toddler drink milk or juice from a bottle at naptime or bedtime.
  • Offer regular meals and snacks. Avoid grazing (eating and drinking all the time, including from a bottle or sip cup). 
  • If your toddler is thirsty, offer plain water unless it is a regular meal or snack time.
  • Give hugs and attention for comfort, instead of food.

Bottles and Tooth Decay

Your toddler's teeth may decay if she often drinks from a bottle filled with anything other than water, especially during rest and sleep periods. There is also a risk if your toddler walks around with a bottle, drinking box, or sip cup and sips from it all day long. For more information, talk to your dentist or local public health office.

Last Updated: August 9, 2013