Mewing has tons of health benefits, and it is a great way to improve your face. However, what if you need to get orthodontic devices like braces or retainers?
Orthodontics can slow down mewing. Many orthodontic appliances lock the palate in place, preventing palatal expansion. However, you can tweak how you practice mewing depending on what kind of orthodontic device you are using. You can still achieve counterclockwise facial rotation and forward growth.
How Orthodontics Slow Down Mewing
Most orthodontic devices stop palatal expansion. However, mewing focuses on expanding your palate. So mewing and wearing an orthodontic appliance can be counterproductive.
Orthodontic devices usually keep your jaw from expanding because they lock other parts of your face into place. For instance, braces can stop you from expanding your palate because it keeps your upper jaw in place.
Additionally, mewing with some orthodontics can slow your progress. You can make your teeth worse or slow down your progress if you mew with orthodontic devices. However, you may be able to mew with specific orthodontic appliances.
You just need to talk to your orthodontist or dentist first. If your orthodontic device is pulling your teeth outwards, you should be able to practice mewing without interfering with the device.
However, if your orthodontic device is pulling your teeth inward, then you may have a problem. The pressure you apply from mewing might push your teeth outward, which will make your orthodontic device useless.
You can tweak your technique slightly if your device is pulling your teeth inward. For instance, you can focus on applying an upward force with the middle and back third of your tongue. Do not put pressure on the tip of your tongue.
Your dentist or orthodontist may advise you not to mew if you are trying to pull your teeth inwards. If that is the case, you may be better off waiting until you remove your orthodontic device to start mewing.
Mewing with Braces
If your dentist or orthodontist says it is okay to mew with braces, you only have to change the steps slightly. As stated earlier, you will not be able to expand your palate because of your braces. So you need to use your tongue to apply pressure upward to get forward growth and counterclockwise facial rotation.
You can test out whether you can mew with braces. Rest and flatten your tongue on your palate – if it does not touch your teeth, you should be fine.
If you have Invisalign, ceramic braces, traditional metal braces, etc., you should not have a problem mewing. However, lingual braces are behind your teeth, so you might not have enough room for your tongue. In that case, you will not be able to mew correctly.
You can simply wait until you get your braces removed to start mewing. You may not see results from mewing as quickly after removing your braces, but you will still see some changes. You just need to be consistent with your tongue posture and use the proper swallowing technique. Visit our in-depth mewing guide for more info on proper swallowing.
Mewing with Retainers
Mewing with retainers is similar to mewing with braces. You need to push upwards and avoid touching your teeth. You can push on your dental arch with retainers, but try not to push as much as you typically would. And don’t push sideways. You want to avoid movements that might expand your palate while the retainers are in.
While you are pushing upward, remember not to push too hard. Hard mewing at this stage is dangerous. Consistent and gentle pressure will help you see results faster.
To get an in-depth look at how to mew with retainers, see our guide.
If you wear retainers at night, you should be able to mew without any issues during the day. Mewing and flexible retainers could also work well together. Using both properly can help you prevent teeth crowding. However, make sure you are not rocking your teeth back and forth by switching between mewing and the retainer. Doing so could cause your teeth to fall out. This is why the only pressure you exert must be upwards on the dental arch. There should be no force acting on your teeth.
Most people have to wear retainers at night to make sure their teeth will not shift again. The retainers will help keep your teeth in place, especially if you have a small palate. You can practice proper tongue posture during the day to make sure you don’t relapse after your orthodontic treatment.
With a fixed retainer, mewing could help you expand your palate while keeping your teeth straight. However, you must be pretty confident in your mewing skills to go for this type of retainer.
A maxillary skeletal expander or palate expander is an orthodontic device used to expand your palate. Palate expanders can be placed in your mouth, either surgically or non-surgically. Studies show that people with respiratory and occlusal problems benefit from non-surgical palate expansion (Brunetto et al., 2017).
If you have a palate expander, you cannot mew. Most palate expanders are already doing an essential part of mewing, which is making your palate wider.
Additionally, part of the palate expander goes on the roof of your mouth. Therefore, you should not rest your tongue there since you risk harming your tongue and interfering with the palate expander.
Some people need to use palate expanders to prevent or treat issues like teeth crowding or respiratory problems. Palate expanders also help if your palate is too small to mew because your tongue cannot adequately rest on your palate.
Why Should I Mew with Orthodontics?
If your orthodontist or dentist says that it is okay for you to mew with orthodontics, then there are still tons of benefits from doing so. For instance, while you cannot expand your palate with orthodontics, you can use mewing to focus on getting forward growth.
As mentioned earlier, you should avoid putting a sideways force on your dental arch if you have orthodontics. Instead, you should focus pressure upwards on your palate to create an upward force.
The upward force will help your maxilla move forward and upward. As your maxilla moves up, your cheekbones will also follow. So you can still get higher cheekbones with mewing and certain orthodontics.
Plus, mewing helps you breathe from your nose. Mouth breathing can lead to tons of issues, like bad breath, snoring, sleep apnea, facial recession, etc. Mewing makes you correct your tongue position and keep your mouth closed, which will force you to breathe from your nose.
Nasal breathing also helps decrease how much bacteria, irritants, and germs you inhale every time you breathe. Plus, it can increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream by 20%!
If you are using a fixed retainer at night and practice proper tongue posture during the day, you could also treat your sinusitis. That is because you are expanding your palate throughout the day. The palatal expansion will help your airway get bigger, so you may experience fewer sinusitis symptoms.
Some people can also use mewing to help them with their speech impediments. If your speech impediment comes from abnormal facial posture, then mewing could help you.
Orthodontics can slow mewing progress because most orthodontic devices keep you from expanding your palate. However, you can still mew depending on the type of orthodontic appliance you have and what it is doing for you.
It would be best to seek advice from your dentist or orthodontist before mewing with orthodontics. They can tell you if mewing is beneficial in your case.