Thumb Sucking Nail Polish DOES NOT WORK

Can You Use Bitter Nail Polish to Stop Thumb Sucking?

The answer is maybe, but usually no. Since thumb sucking is primarily a nocturnal habit and the sleeper is not aware of their taste buds while asleep, the bitter flavor has little effect at curbing habit. So a physical thumb sucking device is recommended for bedtime. Nail polish to stop thumb sucking is really for daytime use, but there are certainly many cases where the child was ready and nail polish pushed them over the edge to quit. Parents that have been successful used an anti nail biting polish that tastes extremely bitter to deter the thumb sucking habit, because thumb sucking is such a strong, subconscious habit. Regular nail polish is not a deterrent by itself. There are many anti-thumb sucking formulas on the market but only a few are really strong enough to produce lasting results.

The results for three years old and under could be very iffy as the taste buds have not fully developed and may not have developed a distaste for the strong, bitter flavor. Plus, most children naturally stop sucking on their own by age four. There is not a bad tasting nail polish for toddlers that is highly effective as this is not the best option for that age group.

Thumb sucking nail polish was developed for nails, not thumbs. And works best on adults and older kids, for those who have willpower and just need to interrupt the compulsive behavior. If you’re looking for a nail polish to stop thumb sucking, the ones that have the best reviews for nail biting will be the best for thumbsucking too.

Top ways to stop thumb sucking

The most popular brands of stop finger nail biting polish include Honest 10, Mavala Stop, Thum and Onyx Stop the Bite. You will find most options online, but local stores like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart may have one or the other to try. So we strongly recommend you do your research first so you know what to expect and how to successfully stop thumbsuckers! You could easily waste $10-$15 on a weak product that will not bring the results you need, and worse waste your valuable time and patience. The bitterness of all formulas is awful initially, but a long lasting, strong formula is best. It is easy to become accustomed to the bitter taste after an hour or two if it is not strong enough.

We have all heard about using jalapeno juice or hot sauce to deter the habit. This is the same idea, only a lot less tasty! However, these are not recommended because the spice can get into the eyes and burn.

Most use nail polish to stop thumb sucking as the first resort. Nail polish is the cheapest option so people often start with it. More serious parents use it in combination with physical thumb guards to stop thumb sucking. If you’re looking for a nail polish to stop thumb sucking, the ones that have the best reviews for nail biting will be the best for thumbsucking too.

Nail Polish Pros

  • It is one of the cheapest solutions.
  • In cases where the child is ready and willing to quit and just needs a little reminder, the bitter nail polish is the easiest and fastest solution to stop thumb sucking. Success will depend on age and motivation, and how strong their habit is at night.
  • It is a simple application and easy to use.

Nail Polish Cons

  • Some formulas have untrusted and bad chemicals (always buy from a trusted brand that tests!). Since 2013, the FDA does not approve of harmful ingredients previously used in nail polish.
  • It does not work while sleeping while their taste buds are turned off. The strong flavor may transfer to the lips and food and linger in the mouth.
  • It can be difficult to remove the strong flavor from the nail even with the nail polish remover
  • Some children are not deterred by the bitter taste.

How Do You Remove No Bite Nail Polish?

Simply use a normal acetone (nail polish remover) used for removing regular nail polish.

Is Nail Biting Polish Safe?

It depends on the brand, some have chemicals/ingredients made in uncontrolled factories outside of the United States – so do your research to be safe, especially when it comes to your kids. Do not buy from China! Buy from a trusted brand, preferably made in the USA.

Make sure the formula is safety tested and designed for kids, because children are more sensitive.

Remember, these products were developed to stop nail biting, which is a day-time habit. The bitter flavor in the polish is designed to trigger a response to keep the fingers out of the mouth. Taste buds are “turned off” at night, so if you have a strong night-time thumb sucker you will likely need a physical device in addition to the nail polish to stop thumb sucking.

One can use bitter nail polish to stop thumb sucking, but it’s not always effective and can have some drawbacks. For a more reliable solution, consider using the Nipit thumb sucking guard. Unlike bitter nail polish, the Nipit guard provides a comfortable and effective way to break the thumb sucking habit. While bitter nail polish can deter thumb sucking, its effectiveness varies, and some find it unpleasant. For a more comfortable and reliable solution, consider the Nipit thumb sucking guard. Designed to gently discourage thumb sucking, the Nipit guard offers a safe and effective way to break the habit. Purchase now and help your child overcome thumb sucking habit in just 5-21 days. 

Selected reviews by Thumb Suckers, not Nail Biters

“Mavala Stop does not work for thumb sucking because the battle is lost at night when sleeping, and that’s the most important. However the product does work in preventing the nail biting from occurring due to the nasty taste not coming off for a few days but what it doesn’t tell you is after it is applied to your nails it gets in the way of eating and preparing food for dinner. The taste of this product gets into the food when prepared and it’s horrific. The stuff rubs off if you have an itch by your mouth and scratch then you get it in your mouth. If you have an itch or something bothering your eye, it gets in your eye. I had to use nail polish remover to get the stuff off so I can cook dinner. This stuff does break the habit but gets in the way of everyday life.” – two stars

“My friend used Mavala Stop anti-nail biting polish for her 10 year old who was always biting his nails while doing homework, and she said it work great! So I tried it on my 7 year old daughter for thumb sucking. I was told that this would help but sadly it did not work. It may not be the products fault that this didn’t work cuz my daughter is known to suck that thumb with great desire. I will try some physical device now.” – one star

“Didn’t do a thing for my thumb sucker. She didn’t even notice it. I added like 3 coats and my daughter still bite her nails and suck her thumb.” – one star

But some children do have success – the motivated ones:

“I used Hoof Stop The Bite for two week on my child. It really tastes horrible! That’s why my thumb sucking daughter does not even THINK about sucking her thumb. Now I must admit, she is ready to stop because her older brother makes fun of her. She sucked her thumb even with it the first day because she was still so addicted to the habit. But the second day she wore tired of the bad taste, and she told me how much she wanted to stop! My daughter no longer sucks her thumb, no more worries for me! We used it for about 4 to 5 days straight and it’s not a problem anymore. FINALLY!” – five stars


Honest10 is the strongest anti-nail biting polish that has taken a very close look at the oral habit behaviors and understands what it takes to be successful. Honest10 sells their polish as a KIT with a nail file and hangnail trimmer plus motivational program and stickers (or just the bottle of polish by itself). Not only is it the strongest formula on the market, but it has a complete kit with nail accessories needed to end the habit for good including a program to help the user track success. Honest10 understands a little prep work and motivation go a long way. A strong formula, setting a goal to kick the habit, and being consistent about tracking usage each day. Whether Honest10 is used for nail biting or thumb sucking, make a plan and stick to it for a period of time. Honest10 includes instructions not just how to put nail polish on, but a plan to help you reach the ultimate goal. Stop the oral habit.

Made in USA, safety tested formula and Pediatrician Recommended. Order now! No other bitter nail polish has put so much thought into your nail biting or thumb sucking habit. The attention to detail makes all the difference.