Mewing is a social media trend sweeping the internet that suggests regularly performing a simple mouth exercise can improve your facial appearance. Though there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the claims that mewing has any health benefits, that hasn't stopped people from trying it out.
The mewing trend has been popularized by YouTubers and Instagram influencers, who claim that the technique can help create a well-defined jawline, improve alignment from the chin to the nose, and resolve other ailments, such as sleep apnea, breathing issues, speech disorders, and sinusitis.
You don’t have to search far to find thousands of videos and pictures of mewing with “before and after” images that appear to show unbelievable results. So far, the mewing trend has been met with mixed reactions. Some people are eager to try it out, while others are skeptical of its efficacy.
If you're considering mewing, you may wonder what it is and how it works. This article will explain everything you need to know about mewing. Plus, we’ll take an in-depth look at the research and decide whether it actually works.
What is Mewing?
The term mewing refers to the act of pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth to achieve a more sculpted jawline. The theory behind mewing is that it can help to improve your facial structure and give you a more youthful appearance. Many people try mewing in hopes of straightening their teeth without seeking medical or orthodontic measures.
How do I do Mewing?
The following steps explain how to perform this technique.
- Place your tongue against the roof of your mouth. The entire length of your tongue, as far back as you can reach, must lie flush on the roof of your mouth.
- Next, apply gentle pressure and push your jaw forward.
- Do this for a few minutes each day.
History of Mewing
The practice, also referred to as a form of orthotropic, is named after British dentist John Mew and his son, Dr. Mike Mew. They developed their theory based on a set of orthodontic and orthognathic exercises using tongue position to affect the position of the teeth and jaw.
The tongue is said to act as a "muscle" that can help to reposition the teeth and jaws. The idea is that training the tongue to rest in a particular position will ultimately pull the teeth and jaws into alignment.
The younger Dr. Mew popularized mewing through YouTube videos and social media by posting over 600 videos about the subject within the last ten years. Unfortunately, Dr. Mike Mew’s social media campaign to champion his theory received more than solely a loyal online following.
In November 2018, The British Orthodontic Society expelled Dr. Mew. The board released a statement explaining their actions, stating that Dr. Mew’s “social media statements have misled or had the potential to mislead patients and the public.”
Does Mewing actually work?
Mewing has become a popular alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment, claiming to be cheaper, less invasive, and more effective. However, mewing is not without its critics, who say that the practice is ineffective, can worsen existing dental problems, and may even cause new problems.
There is no scientific evidence to support the claims made about this trend, and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) does not recommend mewing. The AAO stresses that facial restructuring is a complex process and cautions against attempting to align your jaw or move teeth on your own without the supervision of an AAO-certified orthodontist.
An article in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery supports this professional opinion. In a report, the publication warns the public against following along with social media trends, such as mewing, that have not been scientifically tested and regulated by experts.
However, social media can be compelling in its case that mewing works. The “before and after” images seem to be enough proof for many people willing to give it a try or fully commit to the practice. However, these pictures online are unreliable. With today’s ability to edit images, the old adage “seeing is believing” can no longer apply.
That said, Dr. Mew’s work is not without some merit. One study indicated that the mewing technique might show a relationship between tongue position and possible corrective facial impacts.
Robert Lesneski, D.D.S., an oral surgeon at Greater Michigan Oral Surgeons & Dental Implant Center, states that mewing could benefit children with oral or speech issues. However, he stressed how it has not been researched and that once a child is done growing, “the sutures—where two bones meet that allow growth—are closed, the only way to widen or change the skeleton would be through surgery.”
Is Mewing harmful?
If you tried mewing once or twice, it’s unlikely that you’ll cause damage or change your mouth and jaw. However, people who have fully dedicated themselves to the practice over longer periods of time may see results, only not what they probably intended as an outcome.
Since a physician isn’t regulating the practice of mewing, it’s impossible to know if your technique is doing more harm than good. You could cause the misalignment of your teeth or jaw, causing pain or dysfunction at the hinge of your jaw, known as TMJ pain or temporomandibular joint disorder.
Other Proven Methods to Straighten Your Teeth
Fortunately, there are other proven and reliable methods for straightening your teeth. While traditional metal braces are still an option, there are now more discrete choices available, like clear braces and invisible aligners.
And new advancements in braces technology have made them more comfortable than ever before. So if you're considering straightening your teeth, know that you have options beyond mewing.
Easily Straighten Your Teeth with Invisible Aligners
Alignerco offers an affordable, reliable way to straighten your teeth without having to use braces or a trip to the clinic. Allignerco uses clear plastic aligners (also known as clear braces/invisible braces) to straighten your teeth gradually. And best of all, you can complete the entire process at home, from beginning to end. Learn more about how to straighten your teeth an easy and convenient way with Alignerco.