Can you sculpt the shape of your face by changing your tongue position? According to the internet, yes you can. If you’ve come across videos or articles about “mewing” in recent years, chances are you’ve heard of it too.
While it’s grown in popularity nowadays, the concept has been around for a while now. For the most part, it’s circulated in vogue around certain internet subcultures. One might pinpoint its origins to 2012 when the Orthotropics YouTube channel posted its first video. Orthotropics is a treatment that looks to correct teeth and jaw misalignments by focusing on the overall development of the face. It does this by building habits that could redirect facial growth patterns, with the first clinic founded in 1966 by John Mew. The term “mewing” is an eponym, albeit taken from Dr. Mike Mew, John Mew’s son. It’s Dr. Mew, after all, who serves as the face of the YouTube channel.
As an orthotropic practice, mewing focuses on specific mouth movements to correct the way your face develops. Most practitioners use it as a way to get a better facial structure. But does it offer other orthodontic benefits? Or does it have any underlying problems? Let’s dive into it deeper.
Mewing makes use of your tongue
The principle tenet of mewing is this: keep your tongue flat on the roof of your mouth. First-timers might feel some discomfort on the initial try, as instinct often dictates the opposite. Practitioners, however, note that over time, this placement becomes second nature, as the muscles of your mouth begin to retain the movement into memory. For maximum results, you should keep the position at all times, even while you’re drinking.
It might be strange to think about how the posture of your tongue could produce dramatic results, but it might not be as outrageous as you’d think. Orthodontists and other medical practitioners also prescribe similar exercises not only to streamline the jaw structure but to deal with any alignment or stress issues. This practice can also be used to treat speech impediments that arise from abnormal face posturing.
Despite this, one might still wonder whether mewing is all it’s cracked up to be, or if it might have harmful effects.
Is mewing bad for me?
Quick answer? No, not really. For the most part, mewing does live up to what it says it does. However, there is a limit to this. For one, while most orthotropic practices attest to results that “stay straight” in the long term, it does take a while to see the results. And the outcomes, if any, usually show up after years of practice. The relationship between mewing and having a defined jawline is also a little indeterminate at best, which might require more studies on the matter.
The real danger of mewing, perhaps, begins when people with serious medical concerns forego treatment in favor of regular mewing. While the practice might have its benefits, there is only so much that it can do. And if the affected person does not receive treatment on time, this might lead to further complications down the line.
So yes, mewing could help a select number of people. But there’s still so much to look into before we can tell whether it’s the next wonder treatment for jaw conditions. Otherwise, see your orthodontist. Better to be safe than sorry.