If you are recessed, you have a down-swung face. Most recessed people want to mew because it can help encourage facial upswing. However, mewing when recessed may not be for everyone.
Mewing when recessed is possible but harder. The back third of your tongue will have a hard time reaching your palate, making it difficult to achieve proper tongue posture. It can also be hard to mew because recessed people often have narrow palates. Luckily, you can fix that with palatal expanders and proper technique.
Why It Is Hard to Mew When Recessed
If you are recessed, then mewing correctly is challenging. When you mew, you want to focus putting pressure on the back third of your tongue. However, people that are recessed find it hard to reach their palate with that part of their tongue.
Another issue most people with facial recession have is that they have a small palate. If your palate is narrow, you may find it very difficult to mew without making mistakes or feeling discomfort.
If you mew with a small palate, you cannot wholly flatten your tongue. That causes discomfort, and you will not be able to efficiently mew.
The next problem with having a small palate is that you could hit other parts of your mouth. When you mew, you do not want to touch your teeth.
Since your palate is too small to fit your whole tongue, there is a good chance you will hit your teeth. The pressure from your tongue can push your teeth forward, causing crooked teeth. It can also make your tongue feel sore because you constantly jam your teeth on it.
Does That Mean It Is Impossible to Mew When Recessed?
It’s not impossible to mew when recessed. Mewing can help you expand your palate, so if you can adjust your tongue to lay flat on your palate without touching your teeth, you can do it. It will just take some patience, but your palate should eventually expand so you can comfortably flatten your entire tongue.
However, you can only do that if you have a slightly narrow palate. If your palate is very small, you need to find another way to widen your palate, such as with a palatal expander.
How to Expand Your Palate
One of the goals of mewing is to expand your palate. But you cannot use mewing to expand it if your palate is too small in the first place. Thankfully, there are other ways you can widen your palate.
Palatal expanders can do more than help you mew. For instance, they can help you correct crossbites and reduce the possibility of skeletal mandibular asymmetry (Meinhardt et al., 2009).
Your palate and upper jaw are the maxilla. Your maxilla forms from the two bones that fuse in your palate’s center, which is the maxillary or midline suture.
A palate expander separates the two bones at the maxillary suture. The tension on the suture makes your body deposit new bone, which maintains the new widened position.
Surgically Assisted Rapid Palatal Expander (SARPE)
This technique combines orthodontic treatments and surgery to correct dental crowding in the upper arch, fix lateral crossbites, and fix small palates. People with already-fused palatal sutures usually have to get a SARPE.
Miniscrew-Assisted Rapid Palatal Expander (MARPE)
MARPEs are non-surgical methods to expand the palate that young adolescents can use since their sutures have fused. Most people use a MARPE for about 4-6 months.
Maxillary Skeletal Expander (MSE)
MSE is a type of MARPE that expands the entire midface (Won Moon et al., 2018). It is an excellent way to expand the palate and correct malocclusions in mature patients.
Rapid Palatal Expansion (RPE)
Most growing children use RPE because it can widen the maxilla to make room for permanent teeth. Most people wear RPE for 6-9 months.
What Should I Expect from Palatal Expanders?
When you wear a palatal expander, you may feel some discomfort initially. However, that is normal since it is a foreign object.
Most patients say they have trouble swallowing, eating, chewing, and speaking for several days. However, it often passes after a few days since the wearer gets used to wearing a palatal expander. Your orthodontist or dentist may suggest a soft diet for the first few days.
Most palatal expander designs will come with a key. You will use that key to turn the screw of the expander to help widen your palate. You have to turn the screw a little bit each day.
You may also notice a tiny gap between your two front teeth as you use the expander. Patients also often feel pressure on their nose, cheeks, palate, and teeth, which is normal.
You may also notice that it is easier to breathe and that you snore less. That is because when you expand your palate, you expand your airways, too. Studies show that palatal expansion and mandibular advancement can help treat sleep apnea (Galeotti et al., 2016).
Enhance Your Mewing Technique
After you expand your palate, you can focus on your technique to mew properly.
To get an in-depth look at mewing, see our guide.
People with facial recession will have to do a McKenzie chin tuck to help the back third of the tongue reach the palate. It is a type of exercise that Dr. Mike Mew recommends. You can do this exercise anywhere.
Here’s a short video demonstrating it:
Essentially, you want to make sure your back, neck, and head are straight. Slowly lower your chin (keep your head as straight as possible) until you have double chins. The position will help you put the back third of your tongue on your palate.
If you find it hard to keep your tongue flat on your palate, think about “thickening” your tongue (in the lateral direction). It helps your tongue cover as much surface area as it can.
Keep in mind that you cannot make your tongue utterly flat because of your palate’s natural arch. However, it would still be ideal to keep it as flat as possible to get the best mewing results.