The lack of knowledge is putting the dental health of more than seven million children in the UK at risk, according to mydentist, which commissioned the research.
Researchers also found that three in ten parents have a daily struggle to get their kids to brush their teeth, and one in five let their children get away without cleaning their teeth the recommended twice a day.
And five per cent of parents admit they only really clean their children’s teeth a couple of times a week or less.
The research also revealed that one in four parents resort to a gimmicky toothbrush, flavoured toothpaste and threats of teeth falling out to persuade their children to take care of their oral health. While one in ten sing a song, offer treats or use a reward chart to encourage children to brush.
Steve Williams, clinical Director of mydentist, said: “It’s shocking to think that seven million children in the UK are missing out on a simple, preventative treatment which offers protection against decay and strengthens teeth.”
The company has launched a nationwide ‘Kids Club ’intended to provide parents and children with better information.
“Our aim is to change this and help parents take advantage of the free dental care available on the NHS, including fluoride varnish treatment, which helps prevent decay and should be applied to children’s teeth twice a year from the age of three.”