Stop Thumb Sucking

ACE Bandage $6

ACE Bandage

  • Effectivenss
  • Sanitary & Health
  • Price
  • Ease of Use
  • Comfort

PROS: Inexpensive, can be effective when kept on with a motivated child

CONS: Difficult to put on, kids take it off easily.


The ace bandage has been recommended for decades by dentists to help kids break the thumb sucking habit. A 4″ wide elastic bandage can be found at any drugstore for $2 -$12 dollars. When the bandage is wound around the arm, along crook of the elbow, the bulk of the material puts pressure on the muscles and tendons, creating uncomfortable resistance as the arm is bent. The child will have to strain to keep their thumb in the mouth. At nighttime, when the child is relaxed and sleeping, thumb sucking is often involuntary. The bandage often provides just the right amount of resistance to keep the fingers away from the mouth. If worn during the day, the gentle pressure from the bandage could be helpful reminder for an already motivated child to stop sucking their thumb.

The Cons – It usually takes weeks to kick the habit of thumb sucking. Once ace bandages get bunched up and stick to themselves after a few wears or the material gets stretched or worn out. More than one bandage could be needed during the effort to kick the habit. Another challenge is wrapping the ace bandage for the right amount of resistance, but careful not to make the bandage too tight. If the bandage is too tight, it could cut off circulation. Adjusting the bandage for effectiveness and comfort could be tricky.

A different product that effectively works on the same principal, that helps stop the thumbsucking habit and is called NipIt, which is custom designed elbow sleeve that fits perfectly on children and stays in place.

Pros- An ace bandage is readily available and inexpensive. It is worth trying to see if this technique works for your child. You child may want to help wrap the bandage. By allowing them to participate in helping with the solution, they become invested in their own success.

  • Inexpensive
  • Will last a long time
  • Works for all ages
  • Difficult to put on
  • Can easily be taken off

The Ace elbow sleeve can also be for adult thumb sucking. Really, for any age that wants to find a universal way for how to stop thumb sucking, cheaply, this is a good place to start. There are definitely better options if you are willing to spend more.

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The ACE elbow sleeve can be effective for highly motivated children who are ready to quit and just need a reminder.
Inexpensive, keeps freedom of hands.
Too difficult to put on correctly and easy to take off.



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ACE bandage
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  1. Great site! Thank you.
    Thanks for the tip! Since I have an ace bandage in my home already I will give it a try. it is so long though so I’ll have to cut it. If I remember I’ll post again in a few days. My girl is 6 and just started getting adult teeth in so she really needs to stop sucking her thumb now.

  2. My daughter really wants to stop sucking their thumb, and we tried the ACE bandage. It was working, but so difficult to put on and off. The idea of over the elbow is the best, because her hands stay free for playing

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