Proper Swallowing for Hollow Cheeks

Tongue posture is essential for mewing, especially if you want to get hollow cheeks. However, you need to make sure that you swallow correctly to get cheek hollows.

To swallow correctly to get hollow cheeks, you need to use your tongue to swallow. You need to avoid using your cheeks as much as you can. You have to bring your tongue up to your palate and press hard when you swallow. 

For a primer on the importance of cheekbones, check out this Looks Theory episode:

How to Swallow Correctly to Get Hollow Cheeks

  1. Use your tongue to roll your food to create a ball. Avoid using your cheeks as much as possible.
  2. Use your tongue to slide the ball to your palate. You can use a scooping motion.
  3. As you scoop the food and it is at the back of your mouth, press your tongue on your hard palate. Make sure you apply the most pressure on your hard palate using the back third of your tongue.

As you can see, you need to avoid using your cheeks to move food around. You should also make sure you do not suck your food toward the back of your mouth to swallow. Focus solely on using your tongue.

You will know you swallow correctly if you feel pressure each time you swallow. Take your time; eat slowly to focus on the way you swallow.

It will feel awkward to use your tongue initially since many of us use our cheeks to move our food around. However, most people get used to it after a week or so.

You need to stay consistent and remember to do it each time. It will eventually become a habit, and you will subconsciously get used to it.

See our guide for an in-depth look at how you can get cheek hollows.

Avoid using your buccinator muscle (in red)

Why Proper Swallowing Matters

If you mew, then you know the importance of proper tongue posture and pressure on your palate. However, mewing is more than correcting your resting tongue posture.

You need to correct the way you swallow, especially if you want to have cheek hollows. If you swallow correctly, you will not use your buccinator muscles, and you will add extra pressure to your hard palate.

The goal is to let your buccinator muscles atrophy. When your buccinator muscles atrophy, your cheek muscles will get smaller. It will help your cheeks become slimmer and create cheek hollows.

If you use your cheeks to swallow or suck your food to the back of your mouth, you will encourage your buccinator muscles to grow. Large buccinator muscles can make it difficult or impossible to get cheek hollows.

Plus, proper swallowing technique can help you get faster mewing results. Since you add pressure to your palate each time you swallow, you encourage forward and upward facial growth.


While this may not be about swallowing, it is another crucial part of mewing you must not forget. You chew your food before you swallow it, so you must remember how to chew correctly.

When you swallow properly, you do not use your buccinator muscles. You run the risk of ruining your cheek hollow progress if you are not chewing the right way even with the right swallowing technique. When you chew incorrectly, you use your buccinator muscles instead of your masseter muscles and tongue.

The more you use your buccinator muscles, the larger they grow. Therefore, we want to avoid using the buccinator muscles but build up the masseters to create a larger hollow space.

However, don’t chew too much, or you will get masseter hypertrophy, which destroys any cheek hollows.

Masseter Hypertrophy

Chewing and swallowing correctly will encourage your buccinator muscles to atrophy faster. It would help if you did both to get cheek hollows quickly.

Proper Chewing Pattern

It would help if you also used a masseter chewing pattern instead of a temporal pattern. Basically, chew outward instead of inward.

To learn more about how to chew correctly, see our guide.

How Long Will It Take to Get Cheek Hollows?

Each person will get different results at different times. It varies on how consistent you are, your genetics, etc.

Most people lose muscle mass in their buccinator muscles after 3-4 weeks of inactivity (McMaster et al., 2013). Some people can get cheek hollows in as quickly as a few months. Again, everyone is different, and it may take you longer to see visible results.

Why Is It Hard for Me to Get Cheek Hollows?

The problem may not only be your buccinator muscles if you find it hard to get hollow cheeks. The buccal fat pad may be large. If you got your buccinator muscles to atrophy, but your buccal fat pad is still big, you may still not get cheek hollows.

Find out what your fat percentage is and if you are at a healthy weight for your height. Excess fat can stay in your cheeks.

Therefore, you may need to lose weight while you swallow correctly to get the best results. However, try not to rely on a BMI calculator to know your fat percentage.

Many studies show that the BMI calculator is not that accurate when it comes to measuring fat. It may work fine for some individuals and give you a rough estimate, but it will not be accurate.

The BMI calculator cannot differentiate fat from muscle. For example, if you are a bodybuilder, you likely weigh a lot for your height because muscles are heavier than fat. Therefore, the BMI calculator may say you are overweight when you are not.

So, try to drop weight until your abs become visible. When your abs are visible, it is a sign that you have a low body fat percentage. By that point, you should be able to see your cheek hollows, especially if you swallow correctly.

Keep in mind that you cannot target fat in your face. Some people state that you can do facial exercises to decrease your facial fat, but all this is really doing is toning the muscles.

Also, you could accidentally develop your buccinator muscles if you try to do facial exercises. Visit our weight loss guide for more info.

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