Understanding Mewing: Technique, Efficacy, Risks, and More


In recent years, the term “mewing” has gained attention as a facial exercise technique that purportedly offers benefits like improved facial appearance and overall health. Originating from the teachings of British orthodontist Dr. John Mew, mewing centers around the concept of proper tongue posture within the oral cavity. This article delves into the intricacies of mewing, discussing what it is, how to do it, its potential effectiveness, associated risks, and other relevant details.

What is Mewing?

Mewing is a technique that emphasizes correct tongue posture to encourage healthy facial development. Dr. John Mew introduced this concept as part of his broader theories on orthotropic, which focuses on achieving ideal facial and cranial growth through natural means. At its core, mewing involves placing the tongue in a specific posture against the roof of the mouth, with the tip of the tongue touching the incisive papilla (the bump behind the front teeth) and the rest of the tongue against the palate.

How to Do Mewing Correctly:

Image Credits: EricDavisDental

Practicing mewing correctly requires proper tongue posture and consistency. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Find Your Starting Point: Begin by becoming aware of your tongue’s position in your mouth. If your tongue habitually rests at the bottom of your mouth, gently retrain it to rest against the palate.
  2. Placement: Place the entire surface of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, allowing the tip of your tongue to rest on or just behind the incisive papilla.
  3. Maintain Nasal Breathing: While practicing mewing, ensure that you breathe through your nose rather than your mouth. This promotes healthier airway function and may prevent issues like snoring.
  4. Practice Regularly: Mewing is most effective when practiced consistently throughout the day, including during activities like eating and speaking.

Does Mewing Really Work?

The claims regarding mewing’s effectiveness are mixed and controversial. Proponents of mewing suggest that the technique can lead to improved facial symmetry, better jawline definition, and even potential health benefits. Nonetheless, there exists a restricted amount of scientific evidence to substantiate these assertions. Some anecdotal reports suggest positive changes over time, but individual results vary significantly.

Potential Risks and Considerations:

While mewing may seem harmless, there are potential risks and considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Improper Technique: Incorrect technique can lead to discomfort or strain in the jaw, neck, and tongue muscles.
  2. Unrealistic Expectations: It’s important to manage expectations. Mewing is unlikely to achieve dramatic changes in facial appearance for everyone.
  3. Age Consideration: This technique may have more potential impact on individuals whose facial bones are still growing, such as teenagers. In adults, the scope for significant change is more limited.
  4. Personal Comfort: Some individuals may find it difficult to maintain the correct tongue posture consistently, leading to frustration and potential abandonment of the technique.
  5. Consultation: Before adopting any new health or wellness practice, including mewing, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional, especially if you have pre-existing dental or craniofacial conditions.

Complementary Practices:

For those interested in enhancing their facial appearance and overall health, other complementary practices can be considered alongside mewing:

  1. Good Posture: Maintaining proper posture can positively impact not only your spinal health but also the appearance of your face and neck.
  2. Healthy Lifestyle: Adequate nutrition, hydration, regular exercise, and adequate sleep play a vital role in overall well-being, including facial health.

Mewing is a technique that has gained popularity for its claims of improving facial appearance and health through proper tongue posture. While there are supporters who attest to its benefits, the scientific evidence supporting mewing’s efficacy is currently limited. As with any health-related practice, it is crucial to approach mewing with realistic expectations and, if necessary, consult a healthcare professional before making it a part of your routine. Keep in mind that outcomes can differ for everyone, and what proves effective for one person might not yield the same results for someone else.

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