Teigen, who’s no stranger to mom shaming, posted a cute video to Instagram of three-year-old Luna sitting on grandma Vilailtuck’s lap while brushing a stuffed animal’s teeth. “So proud of my toons at her first dentist appointment,” Teigen captioned the post.
Cue the haters!
“You need to take them as soon as they get teeth,” one person wrote. “Can’t believe that’s her first dentist appointment.”
Teigen didn’t let the backlash slide. According to Us Weekly, she responded to one commenter (who seems to have since deleted the original comment which read, “What age do they start over there? My daughter started seeing a dentist at a yr [sic] old]”), by saying, “Was waiting for this. U guys never fail me.”
The Lipsync Battle cohost wasn’t the only one who anticipated criticism. Some fans attempted to lighten the mood by posting joke-shaming posts. “Isn’t it dangerous for her to be that close to an alligator? Very concerning Chrissy,” one person wrote. Another added, “Wow Christine that does not look like a dentist to me, seems fishy.” Bless their hearts.
But okay, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, three years old is a bit late to start seeing a dentist; the organization recommends that parents schedule their kids’ first trip to the dentist “when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.” An early visit can help kids grow more comfortable with their dentists, while also giving parents a chance to learn about early hygienic practices. However, not all pediatric dentists agree with this timeline. Some suggest that parents wait until all of their kids’ baby teeth have come in so they can get a full assessment.
“I work in a dental office,” one commenter wrote. “Pediatricians do say 1 year old but you are not going to be able to do more than a quick peek when they are screaming and crying. We recommend that they start at 3. At that point they are more cooperative and more is accomplished. As long as you are brushing and flossing well and check their teeth they will be fine.”
The AAPD didn’t seem too upset about Teigen’s decision to wait, either. “@ChrissyTeigen this is so great to see,” a spokesperson for the AAPD commented. “Did you know that only 62% of children see a dentist from age 2-4? You’re helping this number grow!” (SheKnows reached out to the AAPD and confirmed this was an official statement since the account is not verified.)
Parents should consult with their children’s pediatricians to determine when they should make their first appointments and how to choose the right dentist. With a little less judgment and a bit more support, parents can help ensure that kids everywhere (and their mom-shaming-free parents) have a reason to flash their pearly whites.