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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 result 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 are high, and it can have a negative impact on their self-image during crucial years. On the other hand, baby thumb sucking is normal. In fact, infant finger sucking in 80% of the population is normal. The agreement is among professionals is – the sooner the better.

Learn How to Stop Finger 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 $5,000 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 $100 for a 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 finger sucking, and scored them and collected user feedback to help you make a quick decision. At the top are Nipit and other types of thumb guards for toddlers. 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.

thumb sucking

The Thumb Sucking Appliance Alternative

There is another option, which is the finger sucking appliance. The appliance should be a last resort and is primarily used by parents who cannot take 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. The appliance for thumb suckers is a last resort

Choosing the Best Thumb Sucking Product



Obviously the product must stop finger 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 comfort and remove 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 is 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 a design style; but as kids get a bit older they want to look cool. You can imagine 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.



Safety is always a top concern for parents. Watch out for product with chemicals or that collect dirt and germs.



For some kids having a feature to keep the device on is necessary. Some products have this features.