A study by Levy, et al, originally published in Caries Research, involved more than 1,000 mothers who gave birth to children between 1992 and 1995, with the purpose of determining the impact of dietary patterns during infancy on caries in the primary dentition. The subjects were followed up periodically after birth. Specifically, the impact of water consumption, as opposed to other liquids such as soda pop, juices, and milk, was assessed. The study found that reduced risk of caries in the primary dentition was related to the following: higher water consumption, especially after 36 months of age; more frequent tooth brushing at 36 to 48 months of age; and higher milk consumption at 24 to 36 months of age. An increased risk of caries was associated with higher consumption of nonwater drinks such as soda pop, sports drinks, juice, juice drinks, and sugared milk (excluding formula) at 6 weeks to 12 months of age.
(Source: Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2004)