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What is Mewing?

Explore mewing, a trending oral posture technique that promises to redefine jawlines and aid in overall oral health.

Health trends come and go, and one of the more popular and persistent current trends is mewing. Mewing is a nontherapeutic facial reconstruction method that involves keeping the tongue pressed to the roof of the mouth to change the shape of the jawline.

Mewing is a trend perpetrated on social media and hailed as an at-home solution to correct a misaligned jaw. Proponents of the technique believe mewing will help change their overall facial features over time. Some people may mew to change their jawline, others to relieve pain. This article will detail the mewing process, where it originated and whether the theory holds any water.

Where did the mewing trend originate?

The technique's eponymous originator, Dr. John Mew, popularized the trend in the 1970s. It was part of his own alternative approach to orthodontic treatment known as orthotropics. His son, also an orthodontist, has worked to promote mewing on YouTube and TikTok. For what it's worth, the General Dental Council of Britain recently stripped John Mew of his dental license.

How to mew

Mewing is not a solution backed by serious science. Nothing can replace options such as the clear aligners. If you have any questions about aligners, Motto™ has the answers. But in the interest of knowledge, here is a quick guide on how to mew:

  • Close the lips and position the jaw so that the front bottom teeth are slightly behind the front upper teeth

  • Cover the roof of the mouth with the tongue

  • Position the tongue tip directly behind the front teeth, taking care not to touch the teeth

Mewing fans, also known as Mewers, believe the ultimate goal is to retain this position naturally, which takes long-term practice.

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Does mewing work?

Again, little actual science supports the utility of mewing. Visiting an oral health professional is the best way to address aesthetic or structural issues in the jaw. However, the American Association of Orthodontists notes that tongue alignment can change the facial structure, suggesting that while mewing itself may not work, the ideas behind it could be viable. Orthodontists and dentists sometimes utilize techniques with similar concepts to address misaligned teeth and sleep apnea, but these tactics are not a singular solution. It is all part of a treatment plan designed for the patient.

Risks of mewing

The jaw is not something to trifle with. It is a complex set of muscles and bones and any effort to realign it without professional help could impact other parts of the face. Attempting to mew persistently could cause teeth misalignment, jaw and tooth pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, loose/chipped teeth and further jaw misalignment.

Mewing before and after: spreading false information

The mewing trend persists because of false information on the internet. It is common for people peddling the technique to post mewing before and after images to prove the technique works. It is exceedingly simple for these people to alter images to make the results look natural when they're not. It is important to be vigilant when following trends, bringing with you a healthy dose of skepticism.

A person wearing a white lab coat and green gloves holds a clear aligner, smiling in the background.

Skip the mewing and see a Motto specialist

If you're considering a mewing regimen, look elsewhere. Come learn how clear aligners work at Motto™. We have aligners to make your teeth and jaw alignment goals come true without specious trends that promise unrealistic results. Motto™ aligners can help solve your issues quickly.

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