A report by public health officials in Manchester has revealed that vast numbers of children have been admitted to hospital with rotting teeth, many of them pre-schoolers.
The Manchester Evening News reports that the study found more than half of five-year-olds in the region have experienced decay by the time they start school - this is compared to 31 per cent across England as a whole.
A shocking eight per cent of kids needed to have rotting teeth extracted.
Admissions show that the number of children undergoing surgery because of their poor dental health increased from 974 in 2005/6 to 1,289 in 2008/9 and 1,344 in 2010/11.
In 2011, it was reported that 180 children under four required hospital treatment for their teeth, and more than half of those admitted were aged between five and nine.
David Regan, Manchester's director of public health and the author of the report branded it a 'major concern'.
"It is a major concern that the admissions have increased and that the number of very young children receiving this care is increasing," he wrote.
"Given that this is a preventable condition, this is the unacceptable consequence of poor oral health in Manchester."
In some areas of the city, up to 80 per cent of children are affected by tooth decay before they even start school.
The report claims many mums and dads are not getting early help and advice on their children's dental health, which they find hard to maintain because of the price of toothbrushes, toothpaste and fruit and vegetables.
The health watchdog, NICE, identified dental neglect and the failure by parents to obtain treatment as a form of child neglect in 2009.
What do you think about this?
Is the price of toothbrushes and toothpaste REALLY an excuse for not looking after your child's teeth?
More on Parentdish: Is 'healthy' fruit juice rotting your child's teeth?
More:Advice And Health
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more