Listen to our thumb song!
Learn how to stop thumb sucking
Is your thumbsucker finally ready to stop thumb sucking? Did your pediatrician warn you about the consequences if the habit of sucking thumb continues? Is your child teased at school? Do you want to avoid spending up to $4,000 for braces from orothodontics, or having your child develop a speech problem or deformed palette? But at the same time do you not have enough time to address this problem, and are you hoping it just stops on its own? You are not alone!
This is why it is reasonable to spend up to $40 for a helpful device that was thoughtfully and specifically designed to help your child stop thumb sucking, improve probability of success, and minimizing your time spent.
Keep in mind that thumbsucking is a nighttime habit first, and a daytime habit second. If they are able to suck thumb at night they will never achieve success. Also, most kids suck just one thumb, but when restricted they may suck the other one instead – about 25% of the kids will switch and these kids will need a device for each limb. Lastly, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, your child must be willing and you need to make sure they are motivated from start to finish. Yes, bribes of extra ice cream for incremental success is recommended, and definitely a grand prize for quitting. You don’t need to spend much, a $10-$15 prize is usually all that is needed to motivate even an eight year old.
This website has collected and reviewed the best products to stop thumb sucking, and scored them and collected user feedback to help you make a quick decision. At the top is Nipit and other types of thumb guard. Take a moment to read this page, then another few minutes reviewing the products that are out there. In less than 10 minutes you and your child will be on your way to breaking the most difficult habit of child development.
Pediatricians and dentists say 3-6 years old is the best age to quit thumb sucking
Over the last 10 years there has been a surge of pediatric dentist specialists opening offices, and as a results more attention to child oral development. Before then, the rule of thumb (pun intended) was that a child should stop at the time their adult teeth start to appear, about age six. Now though, what pediatricians say about thumbsucking is that it should be stopped as early as age three, because of the risk of bad palette development and speech problems that can result, and it is bad for the child’s self confidence. Even a regular dentist will urge stopping the habit no later than six because the follow on cost of braces can be high, and also have a negative impact on their self image during crucial years. On the other hand, baby thumb sucking is normal. In fact over 75% of infant thumb sucking is normal, but weening off soon is best. The agreement is among professionals is – the sooner the better.
How long does it take to stop sucking thumb?
In the best cases, a highly motivated child will quit the thumb sucking habit in as little as one week. A typical program will be 2-3 weeks, and if there is a slip-up after success and you have to restart it could take as long as two months. Three weeks is average.
The thumb sucking appliance alternative
There is another option, which is the thumb sucking appliance. The appliance should be a last resort, and is primarily used by parents who cannot make the time to work with their child or have a very difficult child. The appliance is expensive and costs hundreds of dollars at minimum, and can be more than $1,000. The appliance is a shaped wire that is installed into their upper teeth and physically pokes the thumb so they won’t do it anymore. Some other resources state alternative steps to stop thumb sucking (which we do not fully agree with). The appliance for thumb suckers is a last resort.
Choosing the best thumb sucking product
Obviously the product must stop thumb sucking – the product must do what it promises. #1 is to physically prevent the thumb from reaching the mouth. The second best option is to limit the comfort and remove the pleasure, which is the motivation behind thumb sucking. Remember, if the product does not work at night then you will fail (avoid thumb sucking nail polish like Mavala Stop). Consider the rating system provided and user reviews.
→ Comfort & Design Style
Comfort and design style are important because your child must want to wear it, after all they might be wearing it for up to three weeks! For younger children, generally under six, comfort is much more important than design style; but as kids get a bit older they want to look cool. You can image that this would be of paramount importance for someone quitting adult thumb sucking. The better they feel about wearing it, the higher the probability of them continuing to wear it and having success.
→ Ease of Use
Ideally your child will put the device on by themselves after a couple days of you working with them. Their independence further motivates the habit breaking. So you want the product to be so simple that a child can use it.
Price is always important. All of the thumb sucking products are reasonably priced, especially when you consider the alternative of dentistry, orthodontists, the appliance, or worse, the long-term social cost of developing an adult thumb sucking problem. Because these thumbsucking products are all affordable this should be at the bottom of your decision making.
Only two products have a locking feature so it is not one of the common review criteria. The Nipit Hand Stopper and the T-Guard Thumb Guard both have a way for the parent to lock the device onto the child. This is generally not needed but in extreme cases with very stubborn children or kids with ADHD the locking feature is beneficial. As you will read
Safety is always a top concern for parents. The biggest concern with safety is that some products can collect dirt and germs and then be placed in your child’s mouth. However, these products were all designed for children and so are all safe.
Best thumb sucking product
One product is recommended above the rest for how to stop thumb sucking. The Nipit Thumb Stopper is the best product because it meets all the criteria (above) and has proven to give the most success by users, and is pediatric dentist recommended. Also known as the Nipit Hand Stopper, it is a modern design of the time-tested Ace Bandage that has been recommended for decades.
You are urged not to use the fingernail thumbsucking nail polish Mavala Stop, or others like it. Those products work well to stop nail biting, but absolutely do not work for stopping thumb sucking because they cannot break the night time habit.
The T-Guard, Thumb Guard, Dr. Thumb, and Thumb Busters products are all good and have varied results. See the ratings and user reviews.
Please leave feedback about your experience
If you are here because you tried one of the products listed and it did not work, or this website helped your child stop thumb sucking… please leave a comment on the relevant page. Others are counting on you!