Fifteen per cent of three-year-olds in Carlisle were found to have visible tooth decay.
In the first national survey of its kind, Public Health England assessed the oral health of young children across the country.
The children were examined in their nursery, children’s centre or playgroup.
The Carlisle district was found to be the worst in the county, with 15 per cent of three-year-olds having visible tooth decay. On average they had at least four decayed teeth due to the disease.
In Barrow it was 11.90 per cent, followed by 11.59 per cent in Allerdale and 11.47 per cent in Copeland.
Only 10.27 per cent of South Lakeland children were affected, with Eden performing the best with 9.04 per cent.
However, in Copeland the average number of teeth affected by decay was less than two. The average in Cumbria and Lancashire is 15 per cent with visible tooth decay on an average of three teeth.
Public Health England have highlighted the concerning figures, but also pointed out that 85 per cent in the age group have no decay at all.
Eric Rooney, consultant in Dental Public Health at Cumbria and Lancashire PHE Centre, said: “These figures reveal that children in Cumbria and Lancashire have higher levels of tooth decay than in other parts of the country, with the national average being 12 per cent.
“Although there have been advances in the nation’s oral health, there is still a lot of room for improvement especially as tooth decay is preventable.”
He continued: “In Cumbria and Lancashire the Smile4Life programme has been developed in partnership with local authorities. This programme runs in nurseries and pre-school facilities across Cumbria and Lancashire.
“It is designed to help everyone to take steps to make sure that children have the opportunity to grow up with healthy smiles.”
Smile4Life offers simple steps to achieve healthy teeth.
1. Brush your teeth thoroughly with a fluoride toothpaste last thing at night and one other time in the day.
2. Keep food and drinks containing sugar to mealtimes.
3. Visit your dentist as often as they recommend.