View Full Version : Has anyone used the ThumbGuard?

Emmas Mom
10-04-2006, 07:58 PM
Our older DD sucks her thumb & she had her first dentist appointment today. They confirmed what I was suspicious of: sucking her thumb is collapsing her pallet (sp?) & starting to push her front teeth outward. They said if we could get her to stop now she wouldn't have any problems & it would correct itself since she is young. I was thinking of getting her the ThumbGuard at OSA. Has anyone used this?


10-04-2006, 08:12 PM
Wow that is quite a contraption! I haven't used it but as someone who sucked her thumb for many years (until I was 11 or 12, I want to say, only at night), I know that my parents tried tons of things including that yucky nail polish stuff and also bribes and rewards and none of it helped until I decided on my own I was done with it. Of course, I did need 2 years of braces :) .

10-04-2006, 08:53 PM
I sucked my thumb (in private, of course!) until I was 9 and never needed braces. :)


10-04-2006, 09:15 PM
I bought THUM for Lauren, the liquid cayene pepper stuff. (Yes, go ahead and turn me in, I suppose this qualifies as evil mommy.) Lauren chews her fingernails down past the cuticle. Well, one day of this stuff and she hasn't chewed her nails since! She didn't say anything about the taste and I didn't even think she noticed. But, the nail chewing stopped.

Might be worth a try. I found it at Target. The pharmacy had it behind the counter (not prescription though) for $2.99.

ETA: I know nothing about thumb-sucking so cannot comment on that.

10-04-2006, 09:17 PM
I personally would save that for later if she hasn't quit by "crunch time". Kids generally suck their thumbs for comfort, so what I usually suggest to my patient's parents is to start the quest for a different comfort item. It might take a while, but really as long as she quits by the time her baby teeth start to come out, it should correct itself, like your dentist said.

And most kids quit on their own by 5 anyway.

Aunt to sweet baby boy
10-04-2006, 09:41 PM
Avi is also a thumb sucker but i would not get a contraption like that. I have a splint for my tendonitis that limits my thumb movement like that and i would not put a child in that unless they broke or sprained a finger. It limited my fine motor coordination significantly and was very frustrating. I might try to find out why she is sucking her thumb so much, is she anxious, would she want a "lovey", etc.


Ilana, aka Nana to my sweet nephew Avi


10-04-2006, 09:56 PM
My DS (4 yrs.) still sucks his thumb. We've tried Thum, but it hasn't worked for us. My pedi recommended some stuff called STOP, but I can only find it on one website and they require you to buy 2 bottled of it which comes to about $16 plus shipping. A little expensive, IMHO.

10-05-2006, 12:24 AM
>Wow that is quite a contraption! I haven't used it but as
>someone who sucked her thumb for many years (until I was 11 or
>12, I want to say, only at night), I know that my parents
>tried tons of things including that yucky nail polish stuff
>and also bribes and rewards and none of it helped until I
>decided on my own I was done with it. Of course, I did need 2
>years of braces :) .

This was me, only I stopped at 8 and never needed braces.

10-05-2006, 06:23 AM
Most of my former employers ( dentists) didnt get pushy about stopping thumb sucking until 5 or 6 yrs old. Infact one allowed his daugher to have a pacifier till she was 6. I wouldnt worry and truely if a child wants to suck a thumb / finger they will. There is a barbaric ortho device ( placed by a orthodontist) that is cemented to the teeth for older thumb suckers and I have seen them taken out by kids.

What I would suggest is possitive re enforcement. Praise her when she isnt sucking. Try things like a band aid or a special childs ring to remind her not to suck the thumb. I know sometimes just going to school will curb the thumb.

My mother tried a version of the pepper nail polish stuff when I was a child and I was allergic to it. I broke out in blisters all over my face and mouth - every place I touched.

10-05-2006, 07:26 AM
I never tried it, but I did stop it a different way.

My 4 1/2 year old (yes, FOUR and a half) used a binky (pacifier) until two weeks ago.

He had used one to sleep since he was a baby, and wouldn't give it up until he was three and something, and then, he just moved to the thumb. After a while with the thumb, we actually gave him the pacifier back, for naptime and bedtime, which he used for a good 6 months.

I figured the pacifier was a better thing, because then if we could ever get him to stop that, it would be gone, not attached to his hand like his thumb.

So, a few weeks ago, my DH and he had a talk, and he basically bribed him. So DS put the binkys under his pillow one night, and the binky fairy came, and left him a nice letter, and some stickers and about $2 in change. If he could go without it for a whole week, he would be allowed to go to toysrus and pick out any toy.

The binky fairy came every night for a week, with a note (that he had fun reading) and a sticker or something. He cried a little, telling me how hard it was a couple of nights, but I stayed in the room with him a little longer and just hugged him, until he fell asleep. He finally made a week, went out to toysrus, and has been great without it since.

We did try bribing him earlier, and it didn't work. He had to be ready to stop, and he [finally] was. It was very tough though, cause I really believe he was almost addicted to it to relax him and help him sleep at night.

Good luck, but think of my DS and have hope !! I never thought he would stop !

10-05-2006, 08:27 AM
I used it this summer. I have to say, it didn't totally work for us. DS didn't mind it at all, in fact he thought it was kind of cool-his neighbor around the street wanted one of the bracelets and wore it too-kind of cute. The guard is clear, so only the bracelets are particularly noticeable. Anyway, it completely prevented him from sucking his thumb while it was on but the second the guard came off the thumb was right back in his mouth. We were very consistent for about a month this summer (pretty much 24 hours a day) but eventually we gave up-we started using a bandaid instead which was about as successful-but he started taking them off. I didn't want to go back to the thumb guard now that he's in school since it makes it hard for him to hold a pencil or a crayon. I have to say he was a very dedicated thumb sucker-not just when he's tired. Anyway, he fell down the steps last week and hurt his mouth and shifted one of his front teeth and has 100% stopped thumb sucking-a drastic solution I do not recommend! So, I wouldn't necessarily steer you away from it-I don't think it's cruel, and I think a kid motivated to stop (ds was/is) something that serves as a reminder (band-aid or icky stuff could work too) is a help-it's such an unconcious thing it is hard to stop on your own.
Emily mom of Charlie born 11/02 and Zoe born 9/05

10-05-2006, 08:39 AM
I sucked my thumb until I was 38, wore braces twice and I have to tell you the only thing that made me stop was because I wanted to. My parents tried everything and so did I as an adult. I used to suck my thumb in public, at work, of course didn't realize it until someone pointed it out to me. The deal breaker was someone outing me while we were sitting in the boardroom on a firmwide global teleconference. It was humiliating at the time and only then did I realize that I had to stop. So off I went to get braces (again) this time I paid for them myself. Got them off when I turned 40!!!

I really think the only way thumbsuckers give it up is if they are ready. You don't say how old your DD is but I don't think I would try that thumbguard. I say it and showed it to my husband. We both had a good laugh about it. DS sucks him thumb. He will absolutely need braces, as most kids do these days. I am hoping that he will give it up on his own.

Try not to stress about it too much. When she is old enough explain to her the ramifications and hopefully she will find another way to soothe herself.

Good luck.

10-05-2006, 09:13 AM
FWIW, I *never* sucked my thumb or used a binky, and I still had crooked teeth. I had braces twice, for a total of almost five years, and had to have one of those torture stretcher things to widen my upper jaw. And I had to have all 4 wisdom teeth out. Go figure.

mom to Emma, stillborn 11/04/04
and Max, 01/05/06

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