Is there anything wrong with kissing your kids on the lips?

Do you think it’s strange when parents kiss their kids on the lips? While it’s not uncommon to see moms and dads pucker up and give their infant a smooch on the lips, do you think there comes a time when they need to start kissing their kids on the cheek instead? Is there a specific age when a kiss on the lips becomes inappropriate?

Olivia Wilde just faced criticism from her social media followers when she posted this picture on her Instagram page:

Several commenters complained that Wilde should not be kissing Otis (who is 3 years old) on the lips.

This isn’t the first time a celebrity has faced heat for puckering up with her little ones. The same thing happened to Hilary Duff last year when she posted this picture to her Twitter feed:

This is a sweet photo of Duff giving her 4-year-old son Luca a kiss at Disneyland. As sweet as the moment might seem, Duff got so much flak from her followers that she had to post the following message:

Both David and Victoria Beckham experienced the same backlash after they posted pictures of themselves giving their children kisses on the lips. For example, after David posted the below picture, commenters on his Instagram page said, “ohh very yuk 😑” and “even tho I believe that this wasn’t intended to be in a sexual way and obviously Beckham doesn’t see it that way psychologists argue that kids should not be kisses in the lips.”

It’s clear that many people have hangups when it comes to kissing little ones on the lips. However, what do the experts actually say about the practice?

“It’s absurd really to think a parent kissing their child could be referred to as too sexual,” Dr. Fiona Martin of the Sydney Child Psychology Centre told Daily Mail Australia. “It’s normal and healthy to be affectionate to your children. It’s communicating to your child that you love them.” She also says there are no negative psychological effects on children who kiss their parents on the lips.

But not everyone agrees. “If you start kissing your kids on the lips, when do you stop?” asks Dr. Charlotte Reznick over at CafeMom. “It gets very confusing. As a child gets to 4 or 5 or 6 and their sexual awareness comes about…the kiss on the lips can be stimulating to them.”

And other experts seem similarly split. In a quick Google search, an article titled “Parents, stop kissing your kids on the lips” is immediately followed by one titled “It Is Fine To Kiss Your Kids On The Lips, Obviously.” “There’s nothing wrong with a dad kissing his daughter on the lips” ranks right above another piece titled “Stop Kissing Your Kids On The Lips NOW.”

But while it’s tough to find a definitive answer, there’s also the germ angle to consider. While we all know that germs from the common cold or cold sores could be spread from kissing, did you realize that kissing on the lips could possibly increase your child’s chance of cavities? Some dentists speculate that bacteria that causes tooth decay and periodontal disease can be passed on via a kiss on the lips.

So what do you think? Are you going to stop kissing your kids on the lips after reading this? Or do you think all this criticism is nuts?

[h/t: TODAY]