What Is Mewing And Does It Work?
Mewing: While the exercises seem to have exploded on YouTube and other websites, mewing itself isn’t technically new. In fact, proper tongue alignment is recommended by some orthodontists and tother medical professionals as a way to define the jaw, correct speech impediments, and potentially alleviate pain from jaw-related issues.
Despite the hype, mewing has a lot of limitations and may not work like you might see on a YouTube video. If you have medical concerns about your mouth and jaw, you’re better off seeing a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Mewing Before And After
If you spend a considerable amount of time on YouTube, you may have noticed a new species of video: YouTubers claiming to have changed the shape of their face via something called “mewing.”
It’s been dubbed—by The Coventry Telegraph, of all places—a “new health craze” taking over YouTube and Instagram. Adherents claim that the technique—essentially: flattening your tongue against the roof of your mouth—can aid breathing and alleviate mouth muscle pains, as well as helping to define your jawline and align your top and bottom rows of teeth.
There is one problem with the Telegraph‘s definition: Mewing is not only not new, it’s also been popular for quite some time, on incel forums and hyper-masculine fringes of the internet. Still, they’re not wrong that it’s exploded in popularity. Over the last few months, hundreds of videos dedicated to this alternative orthodontic technique have popped up, with titles like: “HOW I CHANGED MY FACIAL BONE STRUCTURE by MEWING, V-shaped jawline, no more doublechin,” and, “How using correct tongue posture can make you more attractive and healthier.”
Austin—a 22-year-old known as AstroSky to his nearly 25,000 subscribers—is one of the most diligent documenters of mewing. He started posting about it around ten months ago, but says he started practicing it himself when he was a 16-year-old worried he couldn’t breathe through his nose properly. ‘I’ll be honest, I was a mouth breather,” he says. “It was a mixture of different issues —I struggled to breathe through my nose, and my face was going in the direction of being long.”
What Is Mewing
he internet is rife with beauty tricks and trends, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s skincare routine to $265 anti-aging cream. But tongue placement is not often involved. Mewing, one of the latest internet beauty crazes, focuses on just that. It’s a practice thought to improve looks, claiming to non-surgically shape the jawline and face.
It’s a simple premise that has attracted many fanatics. The practice of mewing involves keeping the tongue on the roof of the mouth, the maxilla. Consistent tongue placement on the maxilla apparently renders it malleable, thus changing face shape. Those who mew adhere to other habits, including a wave-swallowing technique, as well as gum-chewing to strengthen the jaw muscles.
A quick YouTube search for “mewing technique” brings up 7,000 results. It’s “the new health craze taking over Instagram and YouTube”, according to one UK news site. Joseph Saavedra, a 21-year-old YouTube vlogger, said the tongue placement is crucial. “A few [commenters] have said that they have been doing this all their life and they all have really nice facial structures.”
The oral and maxillofacial surgery community needs to become keenly aware of “Mewing” – a new social media craze debunking the need for orthognathic surgery and orthodontic extractions. Today, maxillofacial skeletal deformities impairing function or cosmesis are most often corrected by orthognathic surgical procedures and dentoalveolar malocclusions realigned with conventional orthodontics. The etiology of these malalignments have been items of controversy for many years, with some scientists claiming that they result from genetic influences and others claiming that they arise from the abnormal function of the tongue and jaw muscles. This latter concept is based on the hypothesis originally championed by Melvin Moss1 (1923 to 2006) who postulated that facial bones develop in response to functional demands (functional matrix hypothesis).
In the past 2 years, social media and internet video platforms (ie, Instagram and YouTube) have expounded on the virtues of “Mewing” as an alternative therapeutic intervention substituting for orthognathic surgery and conventional orthodontics. A Google Trends search for “Mewing” showed an astounding growth in popularity and interest since January 2019 worldwide. “Mewing” is an eponym of Dr. John Mew (1929), a professor at his own London School of Facial Orthotropics, who was recently stripped of his dental license by the General Dental Council. The dismissal was on grounds of misconduct for publicly denigrating the traditional practices of orthodontic tooth movement, in conjunction with exodontia and orthognathic surgery, as treatment for malocclusion2, 3 and boldly heralding his own etiologic concepts of malocclusion, somewhat based on Moss’s functional matric hypothesis.4 Specifically, Mew’s theory postulates that genetic control of skeletal growth is not precise, but rather, that the articulation of the jaws and teeth is dependent on environmental guidance from the orofacial musculature.5 He and his followers further stipulate that the ideal facial esthetic (that is, ideal nose-chin relationship, well-defined jawline, and appropriately prominent malar eminences) can be realized by posturing the tongue against the palate with the lips sealed and the teeth in or near contact.
Mew practised dentistry for 40 years in Surrey and Kent. As of 2015 he is clinical director of the London School of Facial Orthotropics and visiting professor at Victor Babeș University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timișoara, Romania. He got life membership of the British Dental Association in 1999.
In 2010 the General Dental Council reprimanded Mew for disparaging regular orthodontics in his advertisements. In 2013 Mew received an award at the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry.
“Mewing” is named after John Mew and his son Michael Mew. Michael has posted several hundred YouTube videos about the subject, and was picked up by young adult followers of looksmaxxing and reddit communities alike. Michael, who is also an orthodontist, claims to have been expelled from the British Orthodontic Society for having misled the public.
The practice of mewing involves resting the whole of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, breathing only through the nose, keeping the teeth and lips gently closed, chewing food well before swallowing, and swallow chewed food at the back of the mouth without engaging the lip and buccinator muscles.
- Flying Aged 18, shortly after the end of the Second World War, Mew learnt to fly a Tiger Moth. He subsequently took up fixed wing gliding and later hang gliding, making an attempt on the British Endurance Record which was frustrated by the weather.
- Motor racing Aged 19 Mew designed and built his own sports car, fabricating much of it from scratch, and winning the first speed event he entered it for. Between 1957 and 1967 he was seriously involved in motor racing, moving from Formula Three to Formula One. He was one of the last private entrants, entering events all over Europe. In 1963 he twice broke the Formula One club circuit record at Brands Hatch, beating times set by World Champions Jim Clark, and John Surtees.
- Sailing Mew is a sailor. In 1958 he was selected for the British Team for the first post-war challenge for the Americas Cup, though he was subsequently unable to participate in the event itself. In 1971 he was selected to crew for John Prentice, captain for the British International 14 dingy racing team in Annapolis, USA, where Britain came second.
- Braylsham Castle Between 1993 and 1999 Mew built a reproduction moated castle in a valley in Sussex. This received several national awards including Channel 4’s “Best New Home in Britain”.
Does Mewing Work
So he did what any 16-year-old would do and googled a fix for his issues. Eventually, he came across the work of a British orthodontist named Dr. Mike Mew. “I pretty much just applied it to my life,” he said. “I figured: I’ve got nothing to lose.”
According to Dr. Mew, you can improve these kinds of problems by keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth, also known as having “proper tongue posture.” So that’s what Austin did—and according to him, it has changed his face.
At the heart of mewing is learning how to reposition your tongue into a new resting place. Supporters of the technique believe that, over time, your tongue position will change your overall facial features, most notably the jawline.
People also believe it may help alleviate jaw pain and provide relief from snoring. Mewing is supposed to work by making your jawline more defined, which can help shape your face and perhaps make it look thinner, too.
While Dr. Mew is credited with popularizing the technique on the internet, these exercises weren’t actually created by the orthodontist. A quick search on YouTube will lead you to videos of others who have tried the technique and have purportedly gotten results. (There are a few videos that debunk the craze, too).
Proponents of mewing also believe that it isn’t the exercise that changes your face, but rather the lack of mewing that can transform your jawline for the worse. It could even possibly provide corrective techniques for children with tongue posture issues that might lead to irregular bites and speech issues, as discussed in one studyTrusted Source.
On the other hand, experts fear that individuals who are in need of surgery or orthodontic work might mistakenly try mewing instead to help fix any issues on their own.