History of Mewing (What You Didn’t Know)

Mewing is a concept that attempts to improve the jaw by proper oral posture. It has recently become relatively popular. Many internet users vouch for its effectiveness. Mewing has achieved many great results in various people. Though the scientific evidence behind the principles of orthotropics isn’t in question (see here), there is still a lack of dedicated research on mewing itself. This hole in research may be because mewing challenges the standard of care in traditional orthodontics.

Dr. John Mew created the concept of orthotropics in 1966. In the early 2000s, internet users rebranded the practice of proper tongue posture as “mewing.” But proper tongue posture and its links to the facial structure have existed since the early 1900s.

The concept of mewing, as it is known today, was a product of Dr. John Mew and his son’s work. They run a website and a youtube channel that explores the topic of mewing and orthotropics.

Mike Mew has marketed mewing as something to improve looks and overall appearance. This branding could have contributed to the spike in interest with mewing. Many of the references to mewing on the internet revolve around facial aesthetics.

Even so, mewing is still not only a solution for facial beauty. There are numerous benefits to exercising proper tongue and lip posture. In general, mewing is beneficial regardless of the purpose you are using it for. 

The Mews 

Dr. John Mew is the guy credited for the creation of orthotropics and mewing itself. He started researching mewing in the 1970s. His son continues to popularize it today. John Mew wrote the book The Tropic Premise. It talks about proper mouth posture. 

John Mew is a British orthodontist. He served as a dental practitioner for 40 years of his life. Today, Mew is in his 90s. He continues to research mewing and tries to establish as much scientific credibility as he can for orthotropics.

John Mew’s ideas heavily contradict traditional orthodontic beliefs. And the dental community has shunned him for it. 

The General Dental Council stripped him of his dental license, according to Lee et al. (2019). The council did this on the grounds of misconduct on Mew’s part. They claim that Dr. John Mew is spreading an ideology that counters established orthodontic claims.

However, his ideas have some merit. People all over the internet have tried and seen results with mewing. 

It’s growing popularity could be due to Dr. Mike Mew. He has recently pushed orthotropics as a concept for enhancing facial aesthetics. He has dedicated a youtube channel for exploring mewing for just that purpose. And many of the people who mew are in it for the aesthetic benefits.

Mewing is now largely seen as just a method for improving the face, making it seem more interesting to the internet. Users on Reddit and Looksmax have constantly been pumping out great results. Here is a simulation of what mewing accomplishes:

Mewing Effects

Mewing began as a way to treat malocclusion and poor facial development in children without resorting to surgery. But today, it is flowing in the vein of aesthetics. And that’s not a bad thing. 

YouTube has many users who document their mewing experience. The boost that mewing has in social media and forums has given it a lot of exposure. Even large magazines are writing about this new controversial face altering trend. 


Orthotropics is a more natural approach to orthodontics. The source of the word orthotropics comes from two words: ortho, which means straight or correct, and tropics, which means growth. This field is the science of influencing facial growth through posture. Orthotropics is a term that was coined by Dr. John Mew. 

The concept of mewing is based on orthotropics. Some people study orthotropics and believe in the findings of the Mews. However, this isn’t a universal reality as the world of dentistry still isn’t convinced. 

Orthotropics aims to identify the underlying causes of malocclusions and other dental issues. It fixes the symptoms by addressing the cause, instead of applying a band-aid to the symptoms.

But the concept of Orthotropics and proper tongue posture was not created by Dr. Mew himself. It was already an existing idea that he transformed and repopularized. 

Dr. Mike Mew
Dr. Mike Mew


Even orthodontics today admits that there are connections with the tongue and oral posture to certain dental issues. However, reversing these conditions with tongue posture is questionable.

Orofacial Myology

Orofacial Myology has been around since the early 1900s. The entire field of study focuses on the idea that myofunctional disorders can cause or at least impact dental problems. 

These ideas came from orthodontists Dr. Edward Angle and Dr. Alfred Rogers. The two observed lack of proper oral posture to be directly related to dental issues. And they started to come up with therapies to combat it. 

In the decades that followed, the amount of research on these topics was significant. In the 1970s, however, there were many questions raised about the lack of research in the field of Orofacial Myology. But soon enough, sufficient evidence was found to support the claims. 

To this day, Orofacial Myology is a concept that is studied all over the world. The treatments for dental problems that derive from Orofacial Myology flourish today. 

An example of this is the Myobrace, a device that essentially forces one to mew. It is a valid treatment to fix dental issues like malocclusions. 

It would make sense that the acceptance of mewing would be easier given all the indirect research that backs up its claims. But that is not the case. Many are on the fence about whether or not mewing can reverse the effects of myofunctional disorders. 

Arguments against mewing include the fact that every face structure is different. Many criticize the assumption that it would work on the majority without repercussions.

Dr. John Mew
Dr. John Mew


In conclusion, Dr. John Mew created orthotropics in the 60s and 70s. He started the trend of mewing as it is today. His son Mike is responsible for many of the modern aesthetics improvements we know about mewing. 

Though aesthetics was not the primary concern for mewing, most users implement it for the benefits of change in the facial structure.

In many of the forums that talk about mewing, the users have boasted drastic changes in appearance. There is also scientific evidence to back these claims up. But there are no conclusive academic researches that display an accurate and conclusive set of data. It will take years yet before that happens.

The fact that mewing is still largely considered unorthodox and obscure prevents researchers from looking into it more. Nevertheless, the time will eventually come when mewing becomes big enough that the scientific community will have to turn their eyes toward it.

All that said, the Mews did not invent the concept behind proper tongue posture. It is an old and already established concept that has been around since the early 20th century. The concepts behind mewing are ones that are accepted as fact and have viable scientific backing. 

The ideas behind mewing have a scientific basis, and that’s why so many people subscribe to it. The premise and tenets of mewing have been around for more than a century. And those ideas are accepted as true.

However, if we take a look at it in context, mewing remains a process that we can credit to Dr. John Mew and Dr. Mike Mew. After all, they were the ones who did the research. And they introduced us to the idea of mewing we know today.

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