So, you might’ve heard about mewing as it’s booming on social media and YouTube with claims that it can help you define your jaw and look like a Greek god. Mewing is nothing more than proper oral posture, and adhering to it consistently for years can bring about a bunch of health and facial aesthetics benefits.
Mewing defines your jawline by forcing the mandible and maxilla to remodel in a more forward direction. Furthermore, the action of keeping the tongue on the roof of the mouth 24/7 will tighten the muscles under your jaw, making your jawline more defined. Mewing activates the masseter muscles, which can increase the perceived size of your jaw.
Many methods, such as mewing and orthotropics, can be beneficial to your overall face as it can help with the aesthetics and health of the face and jawline. Although you may not see significant or desired effects right away, we believe it’s worth a try! Here’s why.
Does Mewing Define Your Jawline?
Although it may not be scientifically supported, this was a concept founded by an orthodontist, Dr. John Mew. He suggested a method to help structure proper tongue alignment to enforce proper jaw structures and breathing habits for kids during development. Dr. John Mew and Dr. Mike Mew see patients in their London office, primarily treating children. They are able to avoid surgery and tooth extractions by merely having the kids adopt proper posture. One such technique is the placement of a BioBloc device, which forces the kid to keep his tongue on the roof of their mouth.
Here are some treatment examples:
Here’s another example of a girl that has undergone orthotropic treatment:
It is even effective in older children. This kid had a Maxillary Skeletal Expander (MSE) implanted, and combined it with proper oral posture. The outlines show the forward growth of his face:
Mewing for adults is a new trend that has arisen in the recent decade. Adults are finding that it improves their facial structure as well. I have compiled an archive of before/after photos, sorted by the age.
Most evidence shows that if mewing has an impact on the jawline, it may take from months to years to see those results. One man, who recorded his own 30-day trial in Men’s Health magazine, found no visible results at all. You can watch his video here. This isn’t surprising whatsoever as mewing is not meant to be a short term strategy.
Even most orthotropic websites using testimonials to show results, such as this one, mainly display those which have occurred over a year or more.
Who Should Try Mewing?
As mentioned briefly, mewing is best suited for young children or adolescents who are already currently experiencing changes in the jawline. If mewing is worthwhile for anything, it is for potentially guiding a healthy jawline and preventing an overbite or any unhealthy jaw habits.
For many children, this tongue practice is to help fix tongue posture issues, which could inherently lead to irregular bites (overbites or underbites), speech issues, teeth crowding, future issues with sleep apnea, and uncomfortable jaw alignments.
Overall, the method of mewing is a proven preventative measure to help the jawline from becoming poor and misaligned. The lack of mewing may transform your face and jawline for the worse, but mewing to improve your jawline hasn’t been scientifically proven in adults yet. This is because it is hard to test, and nobody wants to do research. Should this hypothesis be proven, orthodontists would stand to lose a lot of money. As a result, it’s unlikely we will see research into mewing anytime soon.
However, what we do know for a scientific fact is that bones change with age, even in adults. 10% of the bone gets remodeled every year. Simply compare the youthful skeleton to the aging skeleton (Eduardo et al, 2017).
Lastly, mewing in adults can’t replace jaw surgery. It will only get you so far, especially after puberty. You’re looking at millimeters of change at the best. If you have actual jaw misalignment issues or malocclusion, your best bet is to see a physician. You should always consult with your doctor before proceeding with any methods aimed at defining your jawline or facial features.
You Want to Try It Anyway? How to Mew
The main objective of mewing, is again, to best position your tongue during its resting place.
- Relax your face muscles including your tongue
- Flatten the tongue
- The entire tongue, including the back, is placed against the roof of the mouth
- Close the lips and mouth
- Keep the tongue in place while setting the teeth back together.
While the tongue starts to find itself between molars as its resting place, one may find pressure across the middle of their face, jaw, and chin. This may be slightly uncomfortable for the first time, as most of us are used to resting our tongue away from the roof of the mouth.
The practice of mewing is to grow a new habit and to change the natural resting place for your tongue. It is a method to make the muscles remember where and how to place the tongue during rest. For more information on proper mewing, see our ultimate guide, which contains a more detailed and exhaustive list of instructions.
This habit is meant to change the shape of your jawline and facial feature over a long period. Again, there is no medically-researched evidence to support this yet, but the before/after pictures speak for themselves.
Why Should One Want to Try Mewing?
The supposed benefits from mewing are a well-defined jawline, realignment of teeth, and an improved alignment between the chin and nose.
If mewing is done successfully, fixing the overall alignment of your jaw, chin, and nose can help with the following:
- Sleep apnea
- Pain relief (from the jaws)
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TJD)
- Certain breathing and swallowing problems
- Speech slurs
Additionally, mewing can help in other ways that may not benefit any facial features. Breathing through the nose rather than the mouth can help with blocking out pathogens and prevent uncomfortable cotton-mouth mornings. The writer of the Men’s Health article found some of this to be true in his short trial.
As an individual that needs surgery or orthodontic work, do not replace professional help by approaching the problem with exercises of mewing.
Other Face Techniques and Treatment
As mewing is not a short-term strategy for defining a jawline, there are still other options that may suit well for what you need. Of course, if you are having severe jawline concerns, disability, or injury, seek medical help and consult with a medical doctor for the best option.
The brief history of mewing is that it is a technique founded by Dr. John Mew. He discovered this idea and coined the term. This was soon followed up by his son, Dr. Mike Mew, who is a practitioner of orthotropics.
Orthotropics is a practice that focuses on altering the jawline and overall face shape by facial and oral posture and exercises.
Malocclusion Jaw Surgery
If you have a misaligned jaw, doctors may refer to it as a malocclusion. These may be approached by jaw surgeries, often called orthognathic surgery.
As pervasive as it may be, surgery is a technique to approach – after serious and professional consulting – to correct certain conditions of the jaw and face.
Surgery will be an approach to realign the upper and lower jaws by moving (one or both) of the jaws into alignment. This method may be close to what you will experience with a less invasive method, such as braces.
Jaw exercises may simply be some techniques “prescribed” to you from your orthodontist after such jaw surgeries. When performed correctly under the right guidance, these exercises can complement the results of a patient’s surgery for the best possible outcome.
Cosmetic Jaw Surgery and Injections
If your main concern for your jaws or facial shape is a cosmetic one, then a facial contouring or facial sculpting may be your optimum choice. A plastic surgeon will consult with you to alter the shape of the jawline, chin, and cheeks.
These methods can often be an invasive surgery or much simpler such as using botulinum toxin (Botox) injections or dermal fillers to change the contour of your face.
A radiofrequency technique is another alternative for face shaping and contouring. Cosmeticians and cosmetic surgeons use this method to treat drooping skin around the jaws and cheeks.
Radiofrequency is a technique that uses radio waves directly onto the area of concern. The radiofrequency causes heat damage to the skin, which stimulates your skin to increase collagen production in the deeper layers, which enhances those layers of the skin to repair.
Consult with your medical professional before proceeding with a radiofrequency procedure. As there are a wide variety of options for targeting skin laxity (drooping skin), you may want to observe the most effective and safest method possible.
To Mew or Not to Mew?
Overall, there are only positive benefits to mewing. The transition to nose-breathing and prevention of future sleep apnea alone makes it worth it. Even if you don’t want to wait 5 years for mewing to change your bone structure, the postural improvements to your hyoid area alone make the cosmetic results worth it, as it will make your jawline more prominent. Mewing changes the hyoid and tongue posture within months. Click here to read our article about the importance of this to your aesthetics.
Either way, if mewing doesn’t cause you discomfort or isn’t discouraged by your health professional, it can serve as a healthy method to reposition and align your tongue. And it has been reported to counteract discomforts throughout your day, whether it’s to combat sleep apnea or simply achieve better breathing.
But unfortunately, mewing is not the ultimate method to approach an effective and quick change to a jawline. For a quick and effective result, the best method would be to consult with a doctor or a plastic surgeon for redefining and contouring your face. With methods including fillers and Botox, it can be less invasive and easier on the wallet to try something out for your facial shape.