Chewing, swallowing, and drinking are actions we perform every day, often without giving them a second thought.
However, the way we execute these simple activities can significantly affect our health, our appearance, and our well-being.
Let’s go over what buccinators are, and what to do about them.
What Is The Buccinator?
The buccinator is a thin, square-shaped muscle located in the cheeks, stretching from the upper to the lower jawbone.
It plays a crucial role in the process of mastication or chewing. When we chew with our mouth closed, the buccinator helps keep the food between our teeth.
Despite its importance, excessive use of the buccinator can lead to unwanted results. Overuse of this muscle can lead to puffier cheeks, resulting in a broader face appearance.
This is where the practice of mewing comes into play.
How To Chew Correctly
When discussing mewing, it’s crucial to understand the role of proper chewing.
Chewing incorrectly can lead to the overuse of the buccinator muscles, leading to a less defined jawline and broader facial appearance.
Here’s how to chew correctly to avoid engaging buccinators:
- Don’t suck on your cheeks while chewing: This common habit causes puffy cheeks. Avoid squishing your cheeks when chewing or sucking on your teeth.
- Keep food in the middle of the mouth: Avoid pushing food outwards when chewing. Keep your food under your palate for better swallowing.
- Avoid foods that require sucking: Eating foods like noodles and drinking with straws engages your buccinators.
There’s no need to remove these from your diet completely, but avoid eating them too rapidly.
Drinking While Mewing
Just like chewing, the way we drink can impact our buccinator usage. Proper tongue positioning is crucial when drinking while mewing.
- Drink the liquid: Drink the liquid so that it’s in your mouth.
- Lip Positioning: Keep your lips together throughout the process.
- Tongue Placement: Push the tip of your tongue against the hard palate, just behind your front teeth.
- Teeth Positioning: Keep your teeth together.
- Tongue Movement: Lift your entire tongue to the roof of your mouth and push the liquid down your throat.
- Breathing Technique: Ensure you’re breathing through your nose during the process.
Most people do an infant swallow, where you use your cheeks to push the food, this causes bloated cheeks and potential dental issues.
By using your tongue and not your cheeks, you stop engaging the buccinators which reduces their size. This way is also the natural way of swallowing when you’re not an infant.
Eating While Mewing: Practical Exercises
Mastering the art of eating while mewing can be simplified through a series of practical exercises. Here are a few exercises designed to aid in achieving correct mewing while eating:
- Smile Swallow: This exercise trains you to minimize the use of lips and cheeks during swallowing, thereby avoiding the activation of the buccinator muscles.
- The Tongue Sweep: This exercise helps you understand how to move your tongue upwards and highlights the importance of a correct resting position.
- Tongue Chewing: This technique trains you to use your masseter muscles (the main chewing muscle) instead of the buccinator muscles.
Sensations of Correct Chewing and Drinking
When you’re chewing and drinking while mewing correctly, it should not exert your jaw excessively.
But you should be feeling the muscles under your jaw being engaged as you swallow.
Swallowing Correctly For Shrinking Buccinators
Swallowing correctly is essential for achieving hollow cheeks.
The goal is to let your buccinator muscles atrophy, which means letting them shrink due to inactivity.
If you swallow correctly, you will not use your buccinator muscles, and this will help your cheeks become slimmer, creating cheek hollows.
The Journey to Cheek Hollows: A Timeline
Achieving cheek hollows varies for each individual. It depends on various factors, including your consistency and your genetics.
Most people lose muscle mass in their buccinator muscles after 3-4 weeks of inactivity. However, everyone is different, and it may take you longer to see visible results.
Barriers to Achieving Cheek Hollows
If you find it challenging to achieve hollow cheeks, the issue might not just be your buccinator muscles.
Excess fat in your cheeks, especially in the buccal fat pad, can also hinder your progress.
Therefore, weight loss and correct swallowing and mewing can yield the best results.
In conclusion, the control of the buccinator muscles through correct eating, drinking, and mewing techniques can significantly impact our facial aesthetics.
By incorporating these methods into our daily practices, we can improve our facial symmetry, enhance our jawlines, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.