Mewing

The relationship between the resting tongue position and the shape of one’s jawline has been a much-speculated topic online. Although we always need to be wary of junk ‘alternative’ science, the ideas put forth by Dr. Mike Mew and the field of orthotropics piqued our interest. Not only are they plausible, but they’ve achieved considerable results for users.

The proper tongue posture technique developed by Dr. Mew has become known as “mewing.” Does mewing even work? Can it give you a more defined jawline and profile? Let’s investigate.

What Is Mewing?

Mewing is a proper oral posture technique which seeks to better the orientation of the face and jawline by altering your unconscious, resting tongue position. By mewing, you are training your tongue to rest on the roof of your mouth and making it a part of your muscle memory.

As someone who did not find this intuitive at first, I’m surprised to find out that most people already naturally rest their tongues on the roof of their mouths. However, if you’re one of the few who don’t already do this, mewing might come as a revelation. Resting your tongue on the floor of your mouth is an abnormality which destablizes the opposing forces of the mandible and maxilla (the lower and upper jaw). It results in mouth-breathing, a longer face, a more hunched poise, and an overall worse appearance. Luckily, however, it can be corrected.

Before we get into specifics, let’s get one misconception out of the way right off the bat: mewing is not a new trendy thing in cosmetics to make you instantly look better. Rather, not mewing is the modern phenomenon making people’s appearance worse. Mewing is simply a form of corrective therapy aimed at bringing our tongue posture back to what it should be.

Who Is Dr. Mew?

Dr. Mike Mew is an orthodontist who was trained in London and manages his own orthodontic clinic there. He is a third-generation dentist who received his orthodontic training from Aarhus University in Denmark under the mentorship of Professor Birte Melsen. Throughout the 1990s, Dr. Mike Mew was a practicing dentist at the Royal London Hospital.

Dr. Mike Mew’s father, Dr. John Mew, is credited with beginning the field of orthotropics. Orthotropics is a branch of medicine that follows the philosophy that one should treat the face rather than just the teeth. The field has a significant overlap with the existing field of myofunctional therapy, a holistic approach which treats disorders of the face and mouth. Orthotropics is represented internationally by the International Association of Facial Growth Guidance (IAFGG). In the last decade, the mewing technique has been popularized in large part by his son.

For those that follow orthotropics, abnormal alignment of the teeth is also a problem of the face. It is can be fixed by correcting the facial resting position. Orthodontistry, on the other hand, might instead propose a retainer for the rest of one’s life as a treatment option. It’s understandable, then, why orthotropics has butted heads with orthodontics over these disagreements in treatment. However, many orthotropic specialists are also trained orthodontists. The two fields should really not be viewed in opposition to one another.

An introductory video on orthotropics, if you’re interested in watching.

Reasons to Start Mewing

  • If you’re now realizing that you’ve been resting your tongue on the floor of your mouth unconsciously and want proper tongue posture.
  • If you’re mainly a mouth-breather.
  • You have an ill-defined jawline and want to improve your face.
  • You have difficulty swallowing or obstruction in your breathing.
  • If you have sleep apnea.
  • If you have a narrow palate and teeth crowding.
  • You have a mild underbite.
  • You want to appear more confident and correct your overall posture.

How to Do Mewing

Mewing is all about proper tongue posture. As explained by Dr. Mike Mew, here is the basic definition:

Mewing is simply resting your entire tongue on the roof of your mouth until it becomes an unconscious resting position for your tongue whenever your mouth is closed.

Yes, that’s really it. But it’s a lot easier said than done.

To do mewing correctly you need to have your entire tongue on the roof of your mouth. That includes the back of the tongue, too, so your tongue should fit right between your molars. This might even be tiring for you initially since your tongue muscles are too weak. If you are mewing correctly, you should feel some pressure in your mid-face, chin, jawline, and palate.

The effects of mewing on your jaw are illustrated below.

Mewing might seem a bit strange at first. You essentially have to retrain your brain to completely rewire its existing facial resting position. Tongue posture is a hard habit to break, especially if you’ve been doing it incorrectly all your life.

The good news is that, after practicing mewing consciously for weeks, it will eventually become like muscle memory. It’ll get much easier. You will also see demonstrable improvements to your face over time. For example, your face’s entire posture and orientation will be more symmetrical. You will feel your entire face come forward. It really is quite surprising how a simple proper tongue posture can do all this. If you think about it, though, it makes sense: your tongue holds your mouth, and your face, in balance. Your jawline muscles and tongue are opposing forces which must be synchronized properly.

Still confused over how to mew properly? Please read our Q&A guide for any other questions you may have.

Mewing and Swallowing (Super Important!)

The main benefits from mewing come from correctly applying it to swallowing and drinking liquids. This is because it is through the act of swallowing that mewing applies a few pounds of force to your palate: this force is what will be responsible for expanding the roof of your mouth and bringing noticeable changes to your appearance.

To swallow correctly while mewing, simply press the tongue firmly against your palate while swallowing. Keep your facial expression unchanged. As you feel your thyroid rise with each swallow, you will also feel your tongue press against the roof of your mouth.

Note: If you’re not swallowing correctly while mewing, you will not see results. You have to learn to swallow with your tongue. That’s what’s most important.

Maintain Your Posure

It should also be noted that mewing should also be complemented by maintaining a proper, erect posture when sitting and standing. An upright posture is considered to be the less-mentioned secondary component of the mewing technique. Your jawline and face should be aligned with your chest. Good posture should be like second-nature.

Mewing’s simplicity should not cause us to second-guess its proven track-record in correcting facial asymmetry, ill-defined jawlines, and sagging jowls. Coupled with working out the masseter muscle through jawline exercises, mewing is a technique that is foundational to a more defined profile. The end result is a more balanced, lifted appearance with a defined jaw and profile.

Does Mewing Really Work?

So, you might be wondering: where’s the proof mewing even works?

Proper tongue posture is nothing new nor was it invented by Dr. Mike Mew. It’s been part of dentistry for well over a century. Myofunctional therapy, which trains patients in correct swallowing and tongue posture, has been an established specialty for some time. Although the importance of oral posture is still understudied, there have been some clinical studies done along with some first-hand accounts of its success.

Contrary to what you may have initially thought, the skull is actually not one large bone. It is made up of sutures, the connective tissues between the skull’s bones. This means that the skull can in fact change over time. As an example of this, Dr. Mew mentions how motor neurone disease deteriorated the shape of physicist Stephen Hawking’s skull over time. Due to no muscle movement in his face on account of his condition, his entire skull sagged further and further downward with age and changed shape. This indicates there is indeed some elasticity in skulls.

Because the skull is made up of all these sutures, mewing is actually about balancing the muscles in the face. This naturally causes slight changes in facial structure. Ultimately, what holds the facial balance together is the maxila (or upper jaw). This is what your tongue will be pressed against when you are mewing.

The changes to the face shape based on the position of the maxila is demonstrated below.

mewing

All the Evidence We Could Find for Mewing

There is a small, but growing, amount of evidence currently available on proper tongue posture. Take a look at them for yourself and draw your own conclusions. The topic of proper tongue posture still remains criminally understudied.

Clinical Evidence

mewing
Two identical twins: one underwent proper tongue posture (mewing) at an early age while the other tried traditional orthodontic treatment with an appliance.

There is still much clinical work to be done on mewing and proper tongue posture. However, some of this information provides us with concrete evidence that proper tongue posture has noticeable effects.

Other Scholarly Evidence

  • The Dental Academy of Continuing Education lists in their course on muscle memory the importance of proper tongue posture. They define proper tongue posture as “the apex of the tongue should be resting just lingual to the maxillary anterior teeth and on the incisive papilla of the hard palate.” The course document cites: Hanson, M. L., & Mason, R. M. (2003). Orofacial Myology International Perspectives (Second ed.). Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas.
  • With 36 citations, this report published by the Oral Health Group finds mouth breathing to be intimately connected to low tongue posture.
  • This interview with physical therapist Maryvonne Fournier, published in the Journal of Dentofacial Anomalies and Orthodontics (2008), discusses the importance of tongue posture in orthodontic treatment.
  • Stanford’s biologist and population studies specialist Paul Ehrlich and orthodontist Sandra Kahn have recently co-authored a book Jaws which discusses the “hidden epidemic” of recessed jaw development. The book affirms the importance of proper tongue posture.

Another piece of evidence we can look at is the before and after mewing success stories which have been posted online. Although anecdotal evidence should be met with skepticism usually, the growing amount of before-and-after evidence is becoming more and more overwhelming.

Mewing Before and After

mewing before and after
Over a two-year period. Patient had tongue tie which was corrected surgically, then practiced proper tongue posture.

10 month progress picture. Age unknown.

8 month progress (age 18). First posted on this thread on r/orthotropics.

1 year after mewing (age 21 to 22). First posted this thread on on r/orthotropics.

22 years old. Face change after 4 months, posted this thread on on r/orthotropics.


15 years old. Face change after 6 months, first posted on this thread on posted on r/orthotropics.

Face change after 3 months. First posted on this thread on r/orthotropics.

mewing
4 month of progress while mewing coupled with chewing gum and a healthier diet. First posted on this thread on r/orthotropics.

17 years old, mewing for 4 months. Posted on this thread on r/orthotropics.

10-month progress with the mewing technique. Age unknown.

Mewing Before and After (Two Years)
Mewing progress over a 2-year period. Age unknown.

The before and after photos of these mewing results definitely show some noticeable improvement.

When to Expect Results

Because mewing is a corrective therapy technique for your face, you won’t see results immediately, of course. However, many have reported noticeable changes to their midface, jawline, and chin in just 6 months to a year. Also, once mewing becomes an unconscious habit, you won’t even need to think about it anymore: it will just become a part of your mouth’s resting position with the benefits multiplying over time.

Since mewing is akin to rewiring your mind to rest your tongue differently, it’s not a fast solution by any means. Instead, it is a therapeutic correction that may in some cases even take a year or more to see results. If you’re correcting a lifelong bad habit you never knew you had, that takes time: so keep at it and you will see demonstrable benefits in your swallowing, breathing, and jawline definition once mewing becomes like second nature.

In short, be patient.

Am I Too Old to Start Mewing?

It should be noted that mewing best works for growing faces, especially in children going through puberty. However, don’t be saddened if you’re an adult reading this. Mewing has had success rates in adults as well. This is because the face is far more elastic than we give it credit for. Dr. Mew himself is a practicer of the technique and he’s seen results in his own appearance despite having started ‘mewing’ well into his adulthood.

However, if you already naturally rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth and still find yourself wanting a more chiseled jawline, there are other options to consider. Mewing is a relatively passive exercise as opposed to jawline exercises. For more information on how to better accentuate your jawline, read our comprehensive guide titled: How to Get a Chiseled Jawline.

Why Is Mewing Necessary?

It’s quite surprising actually how many people rest their tongues on the floor of their mouths thinking it is normal.

This bad habit may have emerged from mouth-breathing, eating far too many soft foods as a kid, or a whole host of other possible reasons. You probably may have never even considered this a problem until now. Yet, by making a simple adjustment and resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth, you engage your entire midface to come forward. The effects of this simple technique are numerous and they include a healthier mode of swallowing, a slightly more defined jawline over time, and an improvement in posture overall.

Our Modern Lifestyle’s Impact on Jaw Growth

The main reason why more of us have improper tongue posture than ever before is simply due to our modern lifestyles.

The 20th century brought processed foods, breastfeeding supplements, and other factors. Our new sedentary lifestyles, both at home and at work, have ruined our postures. Hunched over our screens, more of us commonly mouth-breathe and have poor posture. Our modern lifestyle has made us utilize less of our masticating muscles to our detriment. It has been found that this problem is especially prevalent in the West. In fact, there has been an exponential ‘epidemic’ of patients requiring orthodontic treatment in the past century. Fossil records have shown that pre-modern man had far fewer instances of crooked teeth and facial deformities, unlike today. Something, obviously, has changed.

Resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth is the correct way to develop and balance your face, but unless you’re conscious of it you would have never have known. That’s why “mewing” has been called a form of corrective therapy: you are in effect trying to consciously retrain yourself to rest your tongue in the correct position. Mewing is simply the return to the natural resting position of the tongue as it should be.

Supplements to Boost Gains

There are a few supplements to try while mewing to keep yourself in healthy and in top shape. These are just some general recommendations which we have found to complement the benefits you want out of mewing.

Your best bet would be to buy a supplement which has both vitamin K2 and vitamin D3. Sports Research D3 + K2 supplement with coconut oil (for better absorption) is our recommendation, but this other option by Zhou Nutrition is also a good pick.

Some other important supplements for mewing are:

  • Magnesium is your best friend for muscle stamina. Pick yourself up some high absorption magnesium so you get the full benefit.
  • B vitamins which will help your body convert more nutrients into energy. This complete formula by Sapien Labs includes B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9: the complete B vitamin supplement.

Chewing Mastic Gum

Dr. Mew has mentioned chewing gum as a compliment to mewing in many of his videos. By chewing durable gum, you can strengthen your masseter muscle and give your jawline further definition. You should view mewing as fixing the internal orientation of your face which allows jaw workouts like chewing gum to be much more effective and comprehensive.

The best gum to chew with mewing is mastic gum. Not only does it boast many health benefits, but it is also incredibly durable even if you were to chew it for days straight. There’s a reason mastic gum was once compared to gold two-thousand years ago; it has been associated with many wellness properties and has been linked to de-stressing, meditative practices.

Mastic gum is your best bet to giving your jawline proper definition when mewing. They work well together. Here are our favorites to try:

Be sure to chew 2-3 hours every day to start. If you feel soreness in your jaw after chewing for a few days, don’t overdo it: be sure to take a break. However, over time, you will find that this soreness will cease and your jawline will develop more strength. This will, in turn, give your jawline definition and push your face forward.

Chewing Falim Gum

Some people don’t like the taste of mastic gum, however. Alternatively, you can also try Falim 100 Pieces Sugar-Free Chewing Gum which is just as durable as mastic gum. The texture of Falim gum is similar to regular gum, which some prefer. Falim gum, however, boasts none of the health benefits of mastic. Falim comes in many flavors like strawberrymint, and watermelon. Mint or plain taste best (in my opinion).

Mewing Tutorials: Videos to Watch

Mewing has exploded in popularity within the past year because more and more people are discovering its benefits and posting about it online. There have been so many videos posted in 2018 alone and we expect it to further boom in popularity now that we’re in 2019.

Below are some mewing videos we recommend you check out.




Have you had any personal success trying the mewing technique? Do you have any tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.

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