Schools and nurseries need to step in to tackle the worrying trend of tooth decay in children, the advisory body NICE has said.
More than one in 10 three-year-olds in England have rotten teeth.
In some parts of the country, as many as half of five-year-olds have decayed, missing or filled teeth.
NICE's new guidelines for England say nurseries and schools should consider introducing supervised tooth-brushing and fluoride varnishing programmes.
Prof Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health at NICE, said: "Children, as young as three, are being condemned to a life with rotten teeth, gum disease and poor health going into adulthood.............
............The British Dental Association said that there were "still unacceptable inequalities which need to be tackled" in people's dental health.
Dr Christopher Allen, chairman of the BDA's dental public health committee, welcomed the NICE guidelines.
However, he added: "It's important that local authorities have access to specialist dental health advice to ensure that the interventions chosen are the most appropriate for the needs of the population."
Dr Allen added that water fluoridation programmes would be a more efficient means of strengthening people's teeth.
Only around six million people in the UK have access to fluoridated water, the BDA said.
They never give up pushing fluoridation, still I suppose they have to as it is part of their job description.