Mewing is a long-term approach to improving facial aesthetics that requires holding your tongue on the roof of your mouth. The downside is that results are so slow for adults that they might as well be placebo. The results of mewing vary from person to person, and some individuals have reported not seeing any results despite giving it their best shot.
Some common reasons for lack of mewing results are inconsistency, forgetting the back third of the tongue, the tongue pushing the teeth, not swallowing properly, not using your hyoid muscles, breathing through your nose at all times, teeth grinding, not using your whole tongue, and more. Also, unrealistic expectations play a huge role.
Although adult bones are constantly remodeling, results might still take a while. We will go over most of the common reasons why you’re not getting mewing results in this article.
When it comes to not getting results, this is the number one culprit. Changing bone structure is difficult, and the only way to truly get it done is to apply a consistent force 24/7. That way, bones will have no choice but to change. Dr. Mew has previously stated that if we could find a way to mew 24/7, we could get dramatic results even as adults.
Not having a consistent mewing schedule is very common for beginners. They sometimes forget that they need to practice mewing every single day, and hour, to see results. Mewing should be a life mantra that you need to uphold even while sleeping. You can implement some simple steps that will serve as reminders. Start by setting alarms to remind yourself it’s time to mew. Have your phone beep/vibrate every 15 minutes.
Another idea is to put notes in places you usually hang out. You can use wallpapers or screensavers in phones and computers. This way, you will not have an excuse to mew. You need to take it as seriously as if your whole life depends on it.
You also need to learn how to mew while you are sleeping. This seems absurd for novice mewers, but it starts to happen naturally when you’ve reached the stage of mewing subconsciously during the day. You will not maximize mewing if you only mew during the day and breathe through your mouth when you are sleeping. That’s like taking one step forward and one step back. To transition to mewing at night, I recommend starting with taping your mouth with duct tape before you go to sleep.
The only time that you should not be mewing is when you are eating or speaking.
Forgetting the Back Third of the Tongue
With mewing, the back of your tongue should be your primary focus. Correct mewing pushes on the soft palate, which prevents your face from becoming vertically longer. Many people make the mistake of having too much engagement in the front of the tongue, thus creating a lump. The back of your tongue should receive the most pressure. This ensures that the pressure is going up into your skull, making changes to your cheekbones and jawline.
Engaging the posterior third of the tongue is no easy feat. You have to build up the nerve connections in this part of your tongue if you’re not used to lifting it all the time. Also, when the back of the tongue is in its proper position, it can restrict the airway in some people. If this is the case, try to find a nice middle ground between breathing and mewing, or consider surgical intervention.
Tongue Pushing the Teeth
Most mewing newbies make the mistake of pushing the teeth forward when swallowing. Unfortunately, pushing the teeth out with your tongue can give you horse teeth. Pull your tongue in a little bit behind the incisive papilla, and the bulk of it should be at the back roof of the mouth.
Never underestimate the power of your tongue. When you swallow, notice how much pressure your tongue exerts on your upper palate. Just imagine if you repeatedly push into your teeth using your tongue strength. Abnormally forward teeth front teeth are very unattractive, and doing this as a kid is what leads to malocclusions like open bites.
Not Swallowing Properly
Incorrect swallowing is probably the easiest thing to fix, but many people still don’t get it or don’t think it’s worth the effort to keep up with. If you have a lot of food inside your mouth, use your tongue to roll it up into a ball and slide it down your throat. Don’t suck your food in using your cheeks. Keep in mind that the more your tongue does with food, the better.
When in doubt, just avoid using the buccinator muscle (above).
Poor Head and Neck Posture
People new to mewing walk with their heads leaning forward. Your stiff neck muscles are to blame for this. Too much staring at cell phones causes contraction around the neck area and doesn’t allow you to put your head in the correct position. Having your head in the wrong position makes it difficult to maintain the back third of the tongue on the upper palate, as the tongue gets stretched out.
You can try the McKenzie chin tuck by putting your head up against the wall, pushing your chin back, and holding the position for about 10-15 seconds each time. Doing this every day will release the tension in your neck.
Notice how much easier it is to mew when chin tucking; sometimes, it’s effortless, and your body just does it naturally.
Not Using Your Hyoid Muscles
The suprahyoid muscles include a group of four muscles that connect to the hyoid bone in the neck. The primary role of the hyoid bone serves as an attachment for the tongue and the muscles of the neck and mouth.
Hyoid muscles should help you make sure that your tongue touches the roof of the mouth. If the back portion of your tongue is not able to reach it, then try flexing your hyoids under the chin. A helpful way to intuit this is to try to do the opposite of a yawn. Contract all your neck muscles around the hyoid bone so that your hyoid will be obligated to move up.
Breathe Through Your Nose at All Times
There will be times where you will need to breathe in through your mouth, but good mewing practice ensures that you only breathe through your nose. Maintaining a lip seal is the easiest way to assure this.
Some individuals who have lip incompetence are not capable of keeping their lips closed, and they will have a hard time with mewing. Lip incompetence itself results in face and teeth misalignments.
A good tip for these individuals is to duct-tape the mouth at night. During the day, willpower is the only thing that can keep your lips sealed.
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding has devastating effects for mewing. A core tenet of mewing is making sure that your teeth are in contact with each other. Teeth that are lightly touching have the best jaw alignment.
Teeth grinding might cause damage to the teeth and other oral complications. Also, people who are prone to teeth grinding show symptoms of having crooked teeth or unusual bites.
On the other end of the spectrum from teeth grinding, some people just let the lower jaw hang without touching the teeth. Your teeth should be touching each other while your lips are closed. The optimal facial structure comes from your molars lightly touching, and this supports the midface.
Proper midface support assures that your face grows/remodels in an upward manner, prevents sagging, and creating a pleasing jaw structure. You should, however, make sure that teeth are not touching each other via too much force as this might also cause damage, similar to that of teeth grinding.
Not Maximizing Your Tongue
You need to make sure that your tongue is spread out evenly at the roof of your mouth. It needs to touch your molars and the back end of your front teeth. An evenly spread tongue usually signifies proper mewing technique. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t push your tongue forward too much, as this will give you a face with too much forward growth and explains some of the mewing before/after pictures where they clearly changed but don’t look better.
If you’re soft mewing, you want to make sure that there is a slight suction hold. The suction hold is a vacuum in between your tongue and the upper palate. The suction hold helps to make sure your whole tongue is being used. But watch out and make sure you don’t create too much of a vacuum, or your tongue could be pushed into your teeth.
If you’re hard mewing, you just want to make sure that your tongue is still fully utilized even after it’s tired. This can require going back to a suction hold after you just hard mewed. Some people believe that hard mewing gives faster results. It’s also theorized that pressing harder reinforces the nerve pathways of your tongue and cause you to keep your tongue up longer. There is still no scientific evidence to hard mewing, but there are people who swear by it. You can read all about hard mewing in this article.
Growth Hormone and Testosterone Levels
Our bodies produce growth hormones and testosterone that help in bone and muscle growth. However, there can be cases where these hormones are deficient, which can negatively affect the development of our physique.
Children are constantly flooded with growth hormones and have the perfect chemical cocktail that leads to very fast bone remodeling and growth, making it the best time to mew. Puberty is where our body releases an ample amount of these hormones and is also a great time to mew. As we grow older, the production of growth hormones and testosterone then decreases.
For children that don’t have adequate growth hormone levels, their facial development can be seriously affected. One study recommends the use of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) for children with deficiency. Their results show an improvement in occlusion, the maxilla, and the ramus, basically yielding overall good craniofacial development (Funatso et al. 2006).
For children deficient in growth hormone, mewing, while undergoing growth hormone treatment at a young age, will give the best outcomes. It’s like you are encouraging your face to have proper growth and, at the same time, supplementing it with the right hormones. However, this doesn’t mean you can give a healthy child some growth hormone and expect above-average results.
For adults, the results won’t be as monumental, because we’re done growing. However, there is still a 10% bone remodeling rate in adults, and you should maximize this opportunity. If you want to know more about HGH and mewing, check out our article.
Unrealistic Expectations With Mewing
Mewing only creates small, gradual changes, and it will take a long time for you to even notice. It’s a daily habit that you need to commit to if you want to see results. However, for people with no chin or a recessed jawline, mewing most likely won’t give you the jawline that models have. And if it does, you’re looking at decades of serious/consistent mewing, not years or months.
Mewing is not a shortcut that can help you achieve the world’s most beautiful jawline. Results will come, but you should set realistic expectations. You should keep in mind that mewing is best done at an early age, backed-up with a consistent daily commitment. If you’re past puberty, mewing won’t save you. You need to already be fine with your face.
Also, you need to keep in mind how long you’ve been mewing for. Long-term mewing will always bring better results. Some mewers report that after periods of minimal to no changes, there comes a critical mass period where results come in much faster.
This photo shows the results of 6 months of mewing:
This photo shows the results of 6 years of mewing:
Check out our article on how long mewing takes for realistic timelines.
How you chew your food also helps maximize the effects of mewing. Humans usually chew their food with both the temporal and masseter chewing patterns. The masseter muscles close the mouth while the temporal muscle elevates and retracts the mandible.
The masseter chewing pattern where you primarily activate the masseter muscles will be the most beneficial for your jaw and mewing results. You also need to keep on chewing on hard food to ensure that you are conditioning the bones and muscles of the jaw to remodel.
Mewing results are optimal in people who engage in mewing at the earliest age possible. Mewing during childhood and your teens is ideal since the bones of the facial area are still malleable and continuously developing. According to Dr. John Mew, the best age to have a corrective orthotropic treatment is 7-8 years old. But this also depends on the severity of the case.
When it comes to palatal expansion, Dr. Mike Mew mentions that when we are younger, it’s easier to undergo actual skeletal changes to widen our palate. But as adults, we can only really ever move the teeth. Nevertheless, bone-borne palatal expansion is still possible for adults; it just requires much more time to do so and might require the assistance of surgery or devices such as MSE.
Adults need to engage in activities that will make use of their jaws more like chewing and increase the bite force. Apart from that, there is a world of difference between guiding growth as a kid and trying to induce bone-remodeling with tongue posture as an adult. This all goes back to realistic expectations. If you’re working the latter, then accept that your face might not meaningfully change for years or maybe even decades.
For the last 10,000 years, human faces have begun progressive downsizing due to less effort in mastication and incorrect posture of the tongue. When the mouth is continuously open, there is less support to the upper facial structure causing it to grow vertically (Mew. 2014).
When an individual has craniofacial dystrophy, there is an imbalance in the whole face. Fixing it may involve a variety of orthotopic and orthodontic treatments. Craniofacial dystrophy doesn’t just affect the structure of the external face but also impacts teeth alignment, bite problems, and breathing concerns.
It’s imperative to know what leads to facial imbalance. Some people may have the genetics to blame. Others take part in habits that don’t encourage good tongue posture. But all of them have orthodontic concerns that need correction. Mewing might be able to help with craniofacial dystrophy but with minimal results. Unless you can restore the normal functioning of your facial complex, mewing will be difficult and provide minimal results.
The following are some of the poor practices that lead to worsening of craniofacial dystrophy:
- Using pacifiers during childhood
- Not being breastfed
- Soft diet
- Bite problems without orthodontics treatments
The above is a photo that highlights typical craniofacial dystrophy. This child had an excellent facial structure during his younger years, but his parents gave him a gerbil, which caused severe allergies, which caused mouthbreathing. Now he has a receding chin, and his jaw is somewhat invisible, contrary to the younger version of himself.
If you have malocclusions, a recessed jaw, crowded teeth, receding chin, or any other orthodontic concerns, getting them treated by a physician is your biggest priority. If your palate is too small for your tongue, you need expansion. If you have allergies, you need to make sure they’re being controlled and that you’re always breathing through your nose. Otherwise, your mewing results will be virtually nonexistent.
Improper Mewing Technique
There’s much more to mewing than just keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Make sure you check out our ultimate mewing guide and primer on crucial mewing mistakes to make sure you’re doing the technique properly.
Mewing is done 24/7. So what happens when you do the technique improperly? You essentially multiply that flaw by days, months, and years, and it could translate into facial asymmetries or just a lack of results.
However, don’t let that deter you, because very few people have perfect tongue posture, even attractive celebrities.
The Effects Your Mewing Mistakes
So now that you know some of the common mistakes people make when mewing, make sure you pay attention to your body and either back off and take a break or revisit your mewing technique.
Pain in the Jaw Area
Jaw pain can be the result of improper teeth placement. Some mewers put too much pressure on their teeth, and this results in pain. Too much clenching comes from the belief that the pressure helps in making the jawline more defined.
Ensure that your teeth are merely lightly touching, not clenched, as you will be doing this daily. Your goal is to have a natural-looking jawline.
While some people develop asymmetries from mewing, many others claim their asymmetries have been fixed with mewing. Some people have even fixed their midline deviation, such as this user from Reddit.
Worry about an asymmetry from mewing is like worrying that your physique will become asymmetrical by keeping your back straight. As long as you exercise proper technique and stay away from hard mewing, it should be all but impossible for you to develop asymmetries that weren’t already there.
Restless Nights Because of Mewing
It’s quite reasonable for those who just started mewing to have problems. The tongue may have a hard time adjusting to its new position, causing restless nights. Don’t stress too much about this; your body will learn to adapt. Remember that if you keep on doing this every single day, your tongue will eventually learn that it should be in its natural position.