Thumb Sucking Treatment Options

How do you stop thumb or finger sucking?

There are many different thumb sucking products or approaches offered to parents today to stop thumb sucking, however, none are as effective and child-friendly as TGuard.

What types of thumb sucking treatment options exist today?

The chart below compares various thumb sucking treatment options.


For examples of each, see the page which lists other thumb sucking products on the market.

To summarize the above shown chart, there are really only three categories that can be used to describe the methods used to stop or prevent thumb sucking / finger sucking:

  • Behavioral – using rewards or punishments to motivate the child to stop
  • Aversive – using pain, bad taste, or discomfort as a means to make the act of thumb sucking less pleasurable
  • Mechanical – using a device to physically prevent thumb sucking from taking place


Most parents typically attempt to stop the habit by first employing behavioral tools. This may include professional help from speech pathologists and child psychologists, or it may simply involve the parents intervening with an aid, such as a motivational book, toy, or series of rewards. Unfortunately, this method does not work because children suck their thumbs or fingers at night, when they are not fully aware or conscious of what they are doing. Because thumb sucking is a habit that occurs subconsciously, any attempts at stopping it by using behavioral methods, which require mental control, will inevitably fail when the child loses that mental control, and enters the subconscious state.


Products within this category try to create pain, discomfort, or otherwise unpleasant conditions when the child tries to engage in thumb sucking. Example products include home remedies, such as bitter or spicy chemicals which are painted on the child’s thumbs, or expensive orthodontic work appliances, in the form of fixed appliance therapies. In order to install such appliances, which include intraoral cribs or rakes, dentists must make an impression first of the child’s mouth, so that a custom device can be created to be glued into the child’s mouth, for 6 to 12 months. Not only are these devices extremely expensive, but they force children to alter their speech, restrict the types of foods they can eat, and finally, they subject children to additional pain and discomfort. Clinical evaluations advise that such solutions should only be used as a last resort. TGuard ThumbGuard and FingerGuard offer an easy, fast, and low cost option, which should be considered before these options are tried.


The final category of solutions, that parents often use to stop the habit, involve methods that physically prevent the child from putting their thumbs or fingers in their mouths. This can range from simply solutions, such as a taped sock over the hand, or an ace bandage, which is wrapped around the elbow in order to restrict the child from bending their arm. This would effectively prevent the child from being able to put their thumb or fingers in their mouth, however, it also restricts the child from any other movement that would benefit from use of that joint.

So, under which category do TGuard™ ThumbGuard™ and FingerGuard™ fall?

Actually, TGuard ThumbGuard and FingerGuard do not fall into any of these categories! Our product is unique in that it stops the thumb sucking habit not by discipline, not by pain, and not by restriction: but by the removal of pleasure. This innovative thumb sucking solution does not prohibit the child from placing their thumb in their mouth, nor does it cause any pain, sickness, or discomfort. It simply breaks the suction that the child needs to feel the pleasure of thumb sucking, and thus our product removes the incentive to put the thumb or finger in the mouth. To the child, it feels the same as if they were sucking on a straw: just pulling air! This is the most humane thumb sucking solution available to help your child; after less than 30 days, the habit is gone, and no further thumb sucking prevention is necessary.

TGuard ThumbGuard and FingerGuard: a new approach to stop thumb sucking.

From the material, to the design, ThumbGuard and FingerGuard were created to be as gentle and safe as possible.

  • The material used is a medical grade plastic, the same used for pacifiers and baby bottles. It contains no harmful phthalates or BPA, no toxins, and is manufactured right here in the USA. The appliance, which is listed by the FDA, is soft, flexible, and clear, so it will not impede your child’s ability to eat, draw, play, or write.
  • The device itself is designed to interrupt the process of sucking, by breaking the vacuum which is created by sucking. Therefore, the pleasure involved in the habit is removed, without creating any negative feelings which most children would interpret as a punishment.
  • The treatment lasts only 4 weeks, and most parents see results after just one week. When worn correctly, the product boasts a success rate higher than 90%…as shown by a clinical evaluation performed in 1995.
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