Limited evidence about the role of diet quality, an important component of nutritional status, in the etiology of dental caries has been reported. The aim of this study was to examine the association between diet and dental caries in children by using the dietary intake data, anthropometrical measurements and dental examination. A total of 395 children (52.7% boys and 42.8% girls) who were 36-71 months of age (mean age 58.7 +/- 8.6 months) and attended one of the eleven preschools within a district of Ankara participated in this descriptive study. Dental examinations were performed in the schools under day-light by a pediatric dentist; decayed, missing and filled teeth as well as surfaces were recorded. Data related to socio-demographic characteristics and 24-hour dietary recall of children were gathered via a structured, pretested questionnaire which was conducted by the research dietitian. The Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) and Mediterranean Diet Quality Index for children and adolescents (KIDMED) were used to assess dietary intake. Anthropometric measurements including weight, height, upper arm circumference and head circumference were taken by the same researcher. The percentage of Early Childhood Caries (ECC) was increased by age (p<0.001) whereas no significant difference was observed by sex, socioeconomic status, tooth brushing frequency and body mass index (p>0.05). Although children who had bad KIDMED scores had slightly higher mean values of decayed missing and filled teeth (dmft) (5.39 +/- 4.6) and decayed missing and filled surface (dmfs) (8.45 +/- 8.69), compared to the scores of children with good or medium KIDMED scores, the differences were not statistically significant (p>0.05). On the contrary to the KIDMED findings, the mean value of tooth decay was significantly higher among children with bad HEI-2010 score (4.2 +/- 4.3) compared to children with medium HEI-2010 score (2.47 +/- 2.9) (p=0.043). It is concluded that a healthy eating pattern and high diet quality is essential for the prevention of early childhood caries in preschool children. Further studies are required to develop dietary strategies for the prevention of dental caries.