Mewing is a certain tongue posture or placement meant to restructure your face and shape your jawline.
What is The Mewing Technique?
The entire idea behind the technique of mewing is to restructure your face or alter the shape of your jawline by placing your tongue in a particular position. People also believe that mewing can help with sleep apnea, sinusitis, speech impediments, breathing problems, jaw pain, snoring, and other facial structurally-related issues.
This technique is named after Dr. Mike Mew, a British orthodontist, and the basis of mewing stems from his work in the 1970s. He and his followers suggest that an ideal nose-chin relationship and defined jawline can be achieved by placing the tongue against the roof of the mouth with the lips sealed and the teeth in or near contact.
But, surprisingly, Dr. Mike Mew is not responsible for coining the term ‘mewing.’
Instead, the term was formulated by a group of people online who have tried these exercises. They claimed that it had worked wonders in restructuring their jawline.
Hence, if you were to quickly Google or search this term on Youtube, you can see that it has spiked dramatically in popularity. Understandably, many are eager to reap the benefits of a more defined and sharper jawline with this ‘do-it-yourself’ and cost-free technique!
Is Mewing Really Effective?
In short, the benefits of mewing are questionable. Many benefit claims and success stories arise from social media. And as with many things you may see on social media, it’s always best to take it with a grain of salt!
Unfortunately, there is no concrete evidence or solid proof from research studies that demonstrate the benefits of mewing. Furthermore, no credible, peer-reviewed, or rigorous studies have proven that you can reshape your face with mewing.
Hence, it is always best to be cautious. This is especially so when before and after pictures of mewing on social media pull you into believing that mewing is an effective alternative to jaw surgery or other evidence-based procedures that restructure your face.
These before and after photos of mewing may be deceiving as the lighting, angle, and facial positioning can alter how the jaw looks. In addition to that, many advocates of mewing are teenagers. Hence, the changes or alterations to their jaw may occur throughout puberty.
How Do You Do the Mewing Exercise?
The instructions seem to vary here and there, but generally, this is how you can perform mewing exercises at home.
- Keep your mouth closed.
- Position your jaw so that the front teeth of your bottom jaw are slightly behind the teeth of the top jaw.
- Move your tongue so that it is pressing lightly against the roof of your mouth. Ensure your tongue is completely pressed against the roof of your mouth, including the back of the tongue.
- The tip of the tongue should be positioned right behind the front teeth but should not touch it. Try to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.
Mewing takes practice as we usually don’t keep our tongues pressed against the roof of the mouth. However, you have to maintain this position for the best chances of success whenever possible, even when you are drinking.
Should Teeth be Touching When Mewing?
Currently, there is a lot of conflicting information regarding this. For example, some sources mention that the front and bottom teeth should not touch, while other sources remark that the front and bottom teeth should lightly touch.
What Does Mewing Feel Like?
According to several sources, if you are doing the technique correctly, you should feel slight pressure across the middle of your face, jaw, and chin.
How Long Does It Take for Mewing To Be Effective?
Some people claim that it took several months before they saw changes, but it would likely take years before you will see any results. Additionally, experts suggest it is unlikely you will notice any permanent changes.
Is Mewing Bad for Teeth? What are The Risks of Mewing?
While mewing is unlikely to damage or harm your teeth permanently, some risks are attached to the technique. Firstly, experts are concerned that people might resort to mewing to correct or alter the shape of their face and jaw instead of seeking advice and evidence-based treatment from healthcare professionals.
Furthermore, there is no concrete evidence that mewing can resolve obstructive sleep apnea or jaw pain. Hence, if you are experiencing any sleep-related problems, jaw pain, or if you wish to correct the shape of your jaw for medical or cosmetic purposes, it is always best to seek the help of a health provider.
In extreme cases, mewing may lead to misalignment of teeth and the jaws, jaw pain, or loose teeth.
The biggest downside to mewing is that you’re unlikely to see permanent and significant improvements, so don’t get your hopes up too high with this technique because you might be setting yourself up for disappointment.
Bottomline: Mewing Benefits And Risk
Mewing is a technique that is said to reshape your face and jaw. However, no research has proven the benefits of mewing, and experts remark that you are likely to see zero to minor improvements with this technique.
There aren’t many risks to mewing other than its lack of efficacy. It is not likely to cause your teeth to become damaged or cracks, as long as it isn’t done to an extreme extent.
Hence, if you wish to restructure your jawline, consulting a health professional would be the safest and most effective route to take.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Frysh, P. (2021). What Is Mewing?. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/what-is-mewing
- Lee, U. K., Graves, L. L., & Friedlander, A. H. (2019). Mewing: Social Media’s Alternative to Orthognathic Surgery? J Oral Maxillofac Surg, 77(9), 1743-1744. doi:10.1016/j.joms.2019.03.024
- Mew, J. R. (2004). The postural basis of malocclusion: a philosophical overview. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop, 126(6), 729-738. doi:10.1016/j.ajodo.2003.12.019