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Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers

By: Dr. Elizabeth Craig | December 18, 2015

A very common cause of malocclusion (crocked teeth requiring braces) come from thumb sucking or pacifiers beyond age 2. I am going to share with you my favorite tricks for helping your children kick this habit so they can hopefully avoid or decrease the severity of Malocclusion.


Pacifier trick is “snip the tip.”   First ween the child to only using the pacifier during bedtime.  Gather up all of your pacifiers and keep them up where the child doesn’t have access. Snip just the very tip off the pacifier and let them have it at night.  Progressively snip more and more off.  The child will naturally begin to not want the pacifier.  The key here is consistency.  You have to be strong parents!  Do not give one that isn’t snipped or let them have it during the day.   The work you’ve accomplished will be undermined and you’ll have to start all over with a more determined child!



Mavala Stop is the best product on the market for thumb sucking.  It works for kids who suck fingers and bite fingernails as well.  I bought mine on Amazon.  Paint it on the child’s fingernail on the digit they suck.  (My children were quite determined so I had to paint both thumbs.)  Paint it on in the morning and again at night.  Again, the key is consistency.  It is nasty tasting stuff and if you are consistent it will not take long for them to get the picture.


It takes about a month to kick a habit so dig your heels in parents and help those kids out. Good luck!