Pros: Works; Easy to apply; dries clear & quick; can be used on children 3+; MORE
Cons: Can not find in local stores; cost might be a factor for some
Mavala Stop is just one of several products manufactured to help discourage nail biting and/or thumb sucking. But like many of those other products that just do not work I wondered if Mavala would live up to its claim.
Luckily my daughter never sucked her thumb but over the last year or so my child has developed a terrible habit of biting her nails. Not only that, the skin on the top of her fingers just below the fingernails tends to flake/peel yet her pediatrician says it is nothing to worry about just moisturizer her hands. However, she not only bites her nails but she uses her teeth to peel away that skin or chew at it. When I ask her not to bite her fingers or nails she quickly reminds me that her daddy does it and she loves to mimic everything he does.
My husband often does not even realize he is biting at his nails or fingers. I usually catch him when he is engrossed in one of his Sci-fi shows. When I have observed my daughter biting I have realized that her habit is not usually caused during times when she is anxious or nervous (rules out the nervous habit) but when she is in quite, inactive moments or when she is really involved during story time, etc. Thus often time she too does not realize she is biting. Like father like daughter I suppose. Unfortunately this nail/finger biting is a habit that I have had a very difficult time breaking.
I have tried various techniques with my 5 year old from a sticker chart to simply reminding her to remove her hands from her mouth. But as she has gotten older and a little more willing to see how far she can push me, she finds it funny to simply keep those fingers in her mouth regardless of what I say.
Finally on a trip to her pediatric dentist I informed them of her little habit. They gave me a sample of Control It which they claimed would work wonders. I used it on her, but it didnt seem to do much in controlling her habit. After browsing on Amazon.com one day I found rave reviews on Mavala Stop. There were over 100 reviews and the majority of them claimed this product worked like a miracle on their own children or themselves. Then I checked out the product the dentist had given me. It was expensive and had very few reviews. I wasnt so impressed. So I trusted those 100+ people and ordered Mavala Stop. One little 0.3fl oz bottle cost me $7.99 plus shipping but if it worked on my daughter it would be worth every single penny and more!
A Few Facts and Our Experience
Mavala Stop is made in Switzerland. The product claims to be a safe and effective treatment for adults and children 3 years and up to help discourage the habit of nail biting and/or thumb sucking.
The Mavala Stop bottle came in a red, white and gold box. The glass bottle itself is clear and has a white twist on top/brush. The product/liquid is also clear and is easily applied via a brush applicator just like regular nail polish. It can be applied alone or over nail polish. It dries about a minute or less and is transparent on the nail. It does give a slight shine to the nail as a clear nail polish would. Also, the polish treatment has a very distinct smell similar to regular nail polish as well.
Now, what does this stuff do to deter biting those nails or sucking on those fingers? According to the package Mavala Stop is formulated with a distinct bitter taste to discourage nail biting. For those who are interested in this type of information I did a little research. The ingredient in Mavala Stop which creates that bitter taste is Denatonium Benzoate - which is, the world's bitterest known substance (this info I obtained from ctech corp).
The big question is does Mavala Stop work? Thus far we have had success. Some people stated it only took days for their child to stop biting or thumb sucking while other stated that it took weeks. For us, we have been using Mavala Stop for a little over two weeks now. I apply the product to my daughters fingernails and the skin surrounding the nail almost daily, although the package directions state to apply every other day. I tell her it is to help her skin get better and to make her fingernails look pretty. She likes to have her nails painted so getting her to cooperate is not a problem. She knows the product taste bad but what she does not realize is that I bought it to stop her from placing her fingers in her mouth.
I have noticed fewer and fewer incidences of her chewing on her fingers or nail biting as the second week passed. One evening she placed her finger in her mouth, after a couple of seconds she withdrew her finger and gave me a funny look (I had just applied the product earlier). I asked her what was wrong but she would not say. When I asked if her finger tasted bad she looked down at the floor with a frown.
Now, earlier I sated this product contains an ingredient that is known as the worlds bitterest substance. I have applied this product to my own nails, as I would not apply it to my daughters and allow her to place her fingers in her mouth without first placing myself in that position. Here was my experience (may sound gross but bear with me): first I just stuck my thumb nail to my tongue for a second or two. No bitterness. Then I tried again but for a few more seconds, still no bitterness. Then I placed my thumb in my mouth and then I got a pretty good taste of something bitter, not so pleasant, but if I was a nail biter or thumb sucker it would not have initially deterred me from doing it again. So I stuck my thumb back into my mouth but it did not take long before a bitter taste developed. I quickly removed my thumb but to make matters worse the pungent taste became stronger and stronger. I immediately drank some water and the bitterness disappeared. There was no aftertaste, thank goodness. After that experience I could see why some adults and children were stopped from their habits within just days. I can even see why my daughter has improved.
Now, I promise at some point I will stop praising this product but I just have to continue! Mavala Stop recommends applying 1-2 coats about every two days. As I mentioned I apply to my daughter's fingers almost daily - sometimes skipping a day. On my own finger this polish did not come off for almost 24 hours - or at least my nail remained shiny - hand wash after wash after wash. And the bitter taste did not subside either. I took another test later to see if the bitterness would be as strong and I have to say it was.
I will continue to use Mavala Stop on her fingers until the skin/nail biting habit is completely gone. Even my husband has begun to apply it to his fingers in hopes it will help stop his bad habit too.
So I give this product rave reviews!! If you have a nail biter or finger/thumb sucker in your house and are seeking a way to bring to an end to their habit I would highly recommend this product. Dont just go on my word, you can visit Amazon.com and see what other consumers are saying about Mavala Stop.
Mavala Stop can be found on Amazon.com, Folica.com and Beauty-Spas.com. Mavala.com lists numerous products including this one however I believe their products can not be ordered directly from their website. The average price is about $7.00 plus shipping charges, but again I think it is worth every penny!
For those like me who desire to know what is in products here is the ingredients list taken directly off my package of Mavala Stop:
Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Ester of PVM/MA Copolymer, Phthalic Anhydride/Trimellitic Anhydride/Glycols Copolymer, Isopropyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denat. Denatonium Benzoate, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Benzophenone-3, Violet No. 2.
Thank you for reading =)