Mewing, an exercise that has just blown up as a controversial DIY method to enhance your appearance, is a widely debated topic in the Orthodontic/Orthotropic communities.
The lack of a conclusive answer might have left you wondering what is the true nature of mewing, is it dangerous or helpful?
Well, mewing is not bad for you, but there can be risks and roadblocks on your journey to building your mewing habits!
What Is Mewing?
Mewing is a technique named after Dr. John Mew, a British orthodontist who pioneered this method.
It’s a form of myofunctional therapy that involves keeping your tongue up against the roof of your mouth, with your teeth slightly touching and lips sealed.
Mewing isn’t just about beauty; it also helps with certain health & sleep issues, such as snoring, sleep apnea, and better breathing.
Mewing aims to make your face appear better and protect you from the harmful effects of poor tongue posture.
While mewing is a fundamental exercise for a healthy life, the journey to mewing can be risky.
How Mewing Works
Mewing works on the principle that the bone changes and adapts over long periods of time – this is known as neuroplasticity.
Consistently maintaining proper tongue posture can influence the shape and alignment of the jaw by putting firm pressure over time.
The theory behind mewing is that maintaining this tongue posture can exert gentle pressure on the upper jaw, influencing its development and shape over time.
The results of mewing are not immediate and require consistent practice over an extended period.
Some mewers report noticeable changes after a few months, while others may take years.
Is Mewing Bad For You?
Like any other technique or practice, whether mewing is bad for you depends on how it’s done.
By mewing practiced correctly and with realistic expectations, mewing will only be good for you.
However, having improper technique or overly aggressive mewing can result in unwanted side effects and complications.
Mewing is essentially about maintaining proper oral posture, which is beneficial for breathing, swallowing, and speech.
But it’s important to understand that mewing is not a quick fix nor a guaranteed solution to a beautiful appearance.
The danger lies in improper mewing or obsessively striving for unrealistic results.
There’s a risk of developing TMJ disorders, jaw pain, or other complications from aggressively pushing the tongue against the roof of the mouth or maintaining an unnatural oral posture.
Therefore, while mewing itself may not be bad, how it’s practiced can have potential risks.
Side Effects Of Improper Mewing
Mewing is a relatively safe practice when done correctly, but it can come with certain side effects, especially when practiced improperly.
Some of the common side effects include jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty swallowing.
Jaw pain and headaches can result from an unnatural or strained oral posture for extended periods.
This strain can put unnecessary pressure on the jaw muscles, leading to discomfort and pain.
Another potential side effect of mewing is the change in your bite.
This can occur if the pressure exerted by the tongue on the roof of the mouth results in a shift in the position of the teeth, altering your bite.
While minor changes might not cause significant problems, more drastic shifts could lead to issues like misalignment or malocclusion.
Risks of Improper Mewing
The risks of improper mewing largely stem from exerting too much pressure or maintaining an incorrect posture over time.
One of the most significant risks is the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
These conditions affect the joint that connects the jaw to the skull, leading to symptoms like jaw pain, difficulty chewing, and a clicking sound in the jaw.
Over-aggressive mewing can also lead to the development of an asymmetrical face if the tongue exerts more pressure on one side of the palate than the other.
This can result in one side of the face developing differently than the other, leading to facial asymmetry.
Finally, improper mewing can also lead to speech problems.
If the tongue is not positioned correctly, it can interfere with the pronunciation of certain sounds, leading to slurring or other speech issues.
How Do You Know If You’re Mewing Correctly?
The key to mewing correctly is to ensure that your entire tongue – from the tip to the back – is resting against the roof of your mouth.
Your lips should be closed, and your teeth should be lightly touching or slightly apart. The posture should feel natural and not strained.
You should be able to breathe comfortably through your nose with this posture.
A good way to check if you’re mewing correctly is the “swallow test”. In this test, you swallow while keeping your teeth together.
If your tongue naturally goes to the roof of your mouth when you swallow, you’re likely mewing correctly.
Remember, mewing should not cause discomfort or pain.
If you’re experiencing jaw pain, headaches, or other discomforts, you might be mewing too aggressively or maintaining an improper posture.
How Can You Avoid The Risks Of Mewing?
To avoid the risks of mewing, it’s crucial to practice it correctly.
Firstly, don’t push your tongue too aggressively against the roof of your mouth.
The pressure should be gentle and not cause any discomfort or strain.
Secondly, do research about mewing itself.
While this may seem like a weird suggestion, many of the dangers of mewing are caused by unknowingly mewing incorrectly.
Third, respond to bodily cues.
Mewing isn’t a one-fits-all exercise, and everyone has different mouth shapes.
Let your body lead you to the correct direction by changing your technique around certain feelings like pain & discomfort.
Find out the effects of mewing, how it works, and keep regular check ups on your mewing posture. There are many different communities for mewing like Reddit, and other various forums.
If you’re unsure whether you’re mewing correctly or if you’re experiencing discomfort or other issues, consider seeking professional advice.
Will Mewing Ruin My Face?
The idea that mewing could ruin your face is largely untrue.
When practiced correctly, mewing is a safe technique that can potentially bring about subtle improvements in facial aesthetics.
Mewing requires a very long period of time to have any drastic appearance on the face, and this applies to negative side effects as well.
It would take decades for mewing to completely ruin your face, even if you had bad posture and mouth breathed.
However, improper mewing or overly aggressive mewing could potentially lead to problems like TMJ disorders or facial asymmetry.
But these risks can be mitigated by practicing the technique correctly and not exerting excessive pressure.
In conclusion, mewing is unlikely to ruin your face when done correctly. But remember, it’s not a miracle cure for facial aesthetics or health issues.
Mewing, a technique popularized by Dr. John Mew, is a form of myofunctional therapy that involves maintaining proper tongue posture to potentially improve facial structure and alleviate certain health problems.
While mewing is generally safe when practiced correctly, improper technique or overly aggressive mewing can lead to side effects like jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty swallowing, and risks like TMJ disorders, facial asymmetry, and speech problems.
Mewing is unlikely to ruin your face when practiced correctly, but it’s essential to have realistic expectations and understand that it’s not a quick fix for drastically changing your appearance or resolving health issues.