Roshida Khanom, a personal care analyst at Mintel, which surveyed 2,000 mums and dads, said: "With almost half of parents not taking their children to visit the dentist regularly, our research reveals a distinct lack of awareness on what their children's oral care regime should look like.
"What is more, only a quarter of parents agree that it is important to visit the dentist as soon as babies develop their first tooth, despite NHS recommendations to take children to the dentist from as young an age as possible - and at least once by the time they are two.
"It's likely that parents think of oral care to be limited to toothbrush and toothpaste when it comes to their children, and so don't feel the need to take their child to the dentist regularly or see the need for products beyond basics such as toothpaste, despite the increase in products designed for this age group."
The findings are particularly worrying as NHS dental treatment is free for children under the age of 18.
The survey also found that one in four parents believe it's important to take a baby to the dentist as soon as they develop their first baby tooth.
And just one in 10 parents believe baby teeth do not need too much attention as they fall out anyway.