10 Easy ways to stop thumb sucking in kids

Thumb sucking habit of the little one seems cool at the start but when he grows to 4 or 5, everybody around starts to warn about the oral and dental problems, social embarrassment, and even interference with speech development, thus this habit starts irritating parents.

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex that babies do in order to self-soothe and calm themselves. However, for some kids, this habit can continue into their toddler, preschool, and even school stages. Definitely, your kid will never go to college with the sucking thumb (lol) but still, this habit is what you should care about a little to fade off in the early stages.

easy ways to stop thumb sucking in kids

Easy ways to stop thumb sucking in kids

Thumb sucking is a tough habit to break, but with time and patience, it can be done.

If you’re dedicated and motivated, there are many easy ways to stop thumb sucking, that I’ve got covered here to fix this habit quickly and easily.

1. Put Thumb Guards

Curious to know How to stop thumb sucking?

Buying your child a thumb guard can be the best thing that you can do. While thumb guards have also many constraints that don’t make them perfect for fading out this habit, I recently came across a product called TGuard. It’s designed perfectly with air holes to avoid suction and a bendable body allowing your kid to have all good stuff going while wearing this guard.

The above is the short testimonial by a Pediatric dentist Dr.Laila about AeroThumb TGuard, you can check out further details and reviews if wanna buy Aerothumb TGuard.

2. Use a bitter-tasting product

Some parents apply soap, sunscreen, or other unappealing liquids to discourage their kids from continuing with the habit. I’m not sure whether it works for you, but I believe it’s worth trying at least once in your life.

The affordable and best bitter-tasting product is nail polish. Sounds weird! But I suggest putting it on your child’s thumb so he won’t be able to put it in their mouth.

3. Make them aware of the dangers

It’s never too early to teach good dental habits, so take this opportunity to have an effective conversation and talk about the problems that can arise from thumb-sucking.

Some key consequences that you can tell your little one include the spread of germs and dental damage. Even some kids found to stop this bad habit due to their friends’ fear (of what others will think about their bad habit) so it’s good to realize them about social bullying – this may help them want to stop.

4. Try to divert your child’s attention

divert kids attention

For younger kids, try giving them a toy or playtime activity that will keep their hands occupied. For older kids, you can teach them how to knit or remind them of upcoming school projects so they keep busy instead of thumb-sucking.

5. Make your kid give up their thumb

For very stubborn kids, you may need to simply refuse to let them give up their thumb. This method is probably not recommended for children under five because it could be very damaging psychologically. However, some older kids who are mature enough to understand that this is for their own good can benefit from this technique.

6. Give your child support

It’s vital that you show your child lots of encouragement and support when they’re trying to break the thumb-sucking habit. You should praise them for everything they do well, whether it’s resisting the temptation or simply making an effort to stop this unconscious activity.

📌 Recommend Read: How to stop getting frustrated with a child?

7. Don’t let them feel bad

Your kid may feel embarrassed or ashamed if they continue with the thumb-sucking habit. While it’s important to show them that you care about their oral health, go let off parenting guilt and avoid making your child feel bad about themselves.

8. Don’t punish your kids for thumb-sucking  

This is indeed one of the essential and easy ways to stop thumb sucking.

Don't punish your kids for thumb-sucking  

Never punish your children for thumb-sucking – this could make them more likely to continue with the habit. Remember that everything you say and do during this process is teaching your children about their bodies and how to care for them, so act in a way that promotes good oral health habits.

9. Don’t remind them of their bad habit

Just like adults, children can get annoyed when someone keeps nagging them about something they don’t want to do. Keep reminding your child of the problems associated with thumb-sucking, but do so in a gentle way that won’t make them feel bad or resentful.

10. Don’t press your kids to stop

Although you should encourage your kid to stop doing the habit, you shouldn’t push them too hard. Refrain from making threats like “stop thumb-sucking or I’ll take away your favorite toy” – this will only make your child more likely to resist and continue with the behavior.

📌 Recommend Read: How to stop my SON from chewing his fingers?


Are thumb shields good?

Thumb shields are good because they are a safe way to stop thumb sucking. They are worn on the hand to protect against further damage, and some have special flavors or other substances that make them less attractive for children. However, many experts recommend not using this product because it’s an extension of the habit instead of just stopping it altogether.

Are there any effects of thumb sucking?

There are some effects of thumb sucking on a child’s health and physical appearance. Sucking their thumb can cause problems with their teeth development, and they may also have a lisp or other speech problems. Thumb sucking can also make a child’s face look more babyish.

How long can a child safely suck their thumb?

Children can continue to suck their thumbs without any long-term problems until they are about four years old. After that, it’s best to try and break the habit so their teeth can develop in the correct way.