This article will show you what exactly happens to your face after months/years of mewing, and how to evaluate mewing before/after photographs. For more information on what exactly mewing is, see our Ultimate Mewing Guide.
First, let’s talk about what changes you can expect to see in overall general terms. For that, check out the above picture for a refresher on skull anatomy.
This picture below shows how mewing affects the bones over time:
The goal of mewing and proper posture is to reverse the craniofacial dystrophy that happens with age and poor posture.
The main difficulty in evaluating faces for mewing results is that a recessed face is easy to hide. When the entire craniofacial structure sinks from years of poor posture and mouth-breathing, people tend to compensate for it over time by simply looking upwards. This hides what is going on under the surface, as the facial plane still appears normal.
On top of that, genetics ensures that some people have slanted foreheads and recessed features even if their jaws aren’t recessed themselves. It’s difficult for even professionals to evaluate without the use of X-Rays.
That being said, there are still clear signs to watch out for and obvious results are still easy to see. In general, keep in mind the extreme cases of a mouthbreather (long) face and a forward grown (short) face.
The top row of images in the above picture showcases a well-developed face, whereas the bottom row showcases the classic mouthbreather look.
The above image shows a girl that has undergone orthotropic treatment to gain more forward growth. This is a great example because the facial bones in kids are still so malleable and the sutures haven’t fused as much as they have in adults.
The above image showcases facial growth improvements with a Maxillary Skeletal Expander (MSE) and proper oral posture. The outlines show the forward growth that has occurred and the kind of results that you should really be seeing from years of mewing.
Importance of Lighting & Angle
One of the most challenging aspects of evaluating pictures for mewing results is that lighting and angles will never be consistent. Even with deliberate effort to get them right, having it off by just a little will throw you off. When looking at mewing progress photos you’re evaluating the face for millimeter-level changes. So when you turn your head a millimeter off from the original angle, you’re either underestimating or overestimating changes.
However, taking photos for your progress is still important because mewing is so slow. It takes years to produce obvious results, and when results come in that slow, even you won’t notice that anything is happening, leading you to conclude that it’s not working. However, look at a before/after photo 3 years apart, and the difference is obvious.
Jawline & Hyoid Improvement
This is usually one of the first things to change with mewing. Mewing obliterates turkey neck. Your submental area (area under your jaw) will be tighter and as a result, your jaw will be more prominent. But this has nothing to do with bone growth. Instead, your muscle tone in your neck and tongue has improved to the point where you are jamming your tongue up naturally. This can take a couple of months instead of a couple of years.
However, this can be easily faked by taking a before photo without mewing, and an after photo with mewing. Or you can lose body fat too and get similar results. Or, you can just look up to make your jawline stand out. A better jawline can easily be faked, so watch out when this happens. If a better jawline is the only change that’s visible, then that doesn’t really mean any actual bone changes occurred and you should be questioning the before/after photo.
However, these before/after pictures show a clear improvement in the submental region after only just a couple of months:
With these results, it’s obvious that the person has been mewing.
As the maxilla grows forwards, the mandible goes along with it and the face appears to swing up. The mandible is connected to the maxilla via the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and your teeth, so it goes along for the ride. In a perfect face, the brow ridge should roughly line up with the most forward point on your chin. Perfect faces have an angle close to 170 degrees. The forehead doesn’t matter as much because in many men the forehead is sloped.
You can see a slight improvement in the facial plane angle in the picture above (blue). Keep in mind this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time to change your facial plane.
You can also use the above measurement by YouTuber BestFaceForward. The better the facial plane, the less of the face will be sticking out in front of the vertical line.
The jaw masseter muscles are antagonist muscles to the tongue. Mewing makes your neck muscles push up on your mandible and over time can improve the gonial angle. The gonial angle is difficult to change with tongue posture alone and is usually done in tandem with dedicated chewing (i.e. gum), which has been shown to balance out facial morphology and improve the gonial angle.
You can see the improvement in the gonial angle in the above picture (blue).
The gonial region of the mandible will appear more prominent with mewing because the mandible isn’t downswung but is instead more parallel with the floor, in addition to growing forward and sticking out more.
The philtrum (the area between nose and mouth) is more curved as the maxilla grows forward. The teeth push forward on the lip more due to the forward growth and facial upswing.
The decrease in the nasolabial angle (angle between the philtrum and bottom of the nose) is clearly seen in the following picture of one of Dr. Mew’s patients:
Also, keep in mind that the lower lip looks larger in mouthbreathers due to the mentalis muscle having to work harder, and that mewing helps make the smile appear less gummy.
When you mash your tongue on the roof of your mouth for years and move your maxilla outward, this creates more empty space between the maxilla and mandible. This creates the hollow cheeks look. However, it also requires a developed jaw to go along with it.
YouTuber Astrosky gained prominent cheek hollows after years of mewing. In addition, his gonial angle clearly improved.
Facial upswing occurs from the maxilla moving forwards. The maxilla can only grow down, but in a well developed face it should be forward as well. The mandible as a result, rotates counter-clockwise. The mandible is a slave to the maxilla, and as the maxilla moves forward, the mandible becomes more prominent and parallel to the floor.
This is a hard one to demonstrate because when the maxilla gets recessed, people tend to compensate by looking up, which sticks their jaw out. Likewise, a before/after photo could be someone just sticking his jaw out or looking up.
You can see how the face has swung up in the above picture (blue) by comparing it to the neckline (red). Yes, he appears to be looking down in the before picture more, but his other bone changes are obvious enough that you can still tell the difference. He could also be looking down in the before picture because his maxilla is lower than in the after picture.
The above picture shows the jawline in blue and the neckline in red (from the back of the hairline to Adam’s apple). This illustrates the point a little more clearly as you can see that the blue line is not perpendicular to the red line in the after picture like it is in the before picture. But his neck did not grow longer in the after picture. Instead, he had forward growth and facial upswing.
Orbital Vector and Eye Support
The orbital vector is the relationship between your maxilla and the pupil of your eye.
When the maxilla is recessed, people tend to look down and tilt their heads up to compensate. When the maxilla is forward grown, the opposite happens and you begin to look up. As a result, it’s harder to see your upper eyelid and your eyes become more hooded. With ideal facial growth, the eye will sit in the back of the skull (Hunter Eyes) instead of bulging out (Prey Eyes).
Forward Facial Growth
Forward growth is as simple as it sounds.
The whole face moves forward (meaning the maxilla and the mandible).
In the above picture, the ratio of the red line to the blue line has increased due to the face literally growing outward.
When the tongue is pressed on the roof of the mouth for years, the cheekbones will move outwards, making the face appear wider. In addition, the maxilla will move up and/or get shorter.
In the above picture, the ratio of the facial height to the facial width has clearly increased with mewing. Both people’s faces look more square as a result.