Should You Do Thumbpulling?

facepulling improvements before and after

Thumbpulling, also known as interoral facepulling, is a facial exercise rooted in Orthotropics.

It is closely related to mewing in it’s effects, and how it’s applied to the face to cause changes. However, unlike mewing, thumbpulling lacks in clinical evidence.

So, should you try it? Let’s find out!

Thumbpulling is a technique with little to no evidence backing it up, for these reasons, I wouldn’t recommend it to your average person.

What Is Thumbpulling?

Thumbpulling is an orthotropic treatment where your thumbs are placed up against your upper palate and pushed out to widen the palate which benefits breathing and facial beauty.

While a small niche claims that this technique works, we can’t say for sure whether it’s benefits are from thumbpulling or by outside factors.

How Does Thumbpulling Work?

Thumbpulling follows the same principals as mewing, by applying a constant force to the palate, you can slowly widen it whilst changing your facial structure as a whole.

By pushing outwards and forwards against your upper palate with your thumb, you can promote forward growth, leading to a less recessed face and profile.

If you want to read about thumbpulling in much more detail, consider reading my article: What is Thumbpulling?

Should You Try Thumbpulling?

Due to the lack of evidence supporting thumbpulling, I wouldn’t recommend if for your average person.

If you haven’t seen any progress from mewing though, I advise that you look deeper to see if it might have noticeable changes to your facial structure.

I would only recommend thumbpulling for people who’ve experienced very slow progress from mewing, and need something more extreme to see progress. It’s most effective for people who have small or recessed upper jaws.

Benefits of Thumbpulling

One of the main benefits is that it is a non-surgical treatment option.

Unlike traditional jaw surgery, which can be painful and require a long recovery period, it’s minimally invasive and has a shorter recovery time.

In addition, thumbpulling can help improve the appearance of the face.

People who have a recessed or small upper jaw may have a sunken or flat appearance to their face can benefit significantly from this technique.

Thumbpulling can also correct dental issues such as overbite, underbite, and crossbite. By aligning the teeth and improving the bite, it improves overall dental health.

Is Thumbpulling Better Than Mewing?

No. Mewing has much more evidence and research going for it.

Along with that, thumbpulling is less effective than mewing.

These two exercises are meant to be combined for even faster progress.

But if you had to choose between either, I’d recommend mewing to you.

It’s the gold standard while thumbpulling is a less known branch.

Risks and Side Effects

Like any orthodontic treatment, thumbpulling comes with risks and side effects. One of the main risks is that it can cause discomfort or pain in the jaw or teeth.

Thumbpulling also lacks heavily in research and may be dangerous if done incorrectly. Since there aren’t many sources, it can be dangerous, especially if your unknowingly doing the technique incorrectly.

While thumbpulling is a non-surgical treatment option, it is not a quick fix. You’ll need to be consistent for several months to see results, and even then, additional orthodontic treatment may be necessary to achieve the desired results.

Signs That Thumbpulling Is For You

One of the main signs is a small or recessed upper jaw. People who have these will experience much faster, noticeable results.

In addition, if you have dental issues such as overbite, underbite, or crossbite, thumbpulling may be a good option for you.

By aligning the teeth and improving the patient’s bite, thumbpulling can help improve overall dental health.

Finally, thumbpulling is good if you are looking for a non-surgical treatment option with a shorter recovery time.

Thumbpulling vs Other Orthodontic Treatments

Non-surgical options like thumbpulling will not have the same effects as orthdontic treatments.

These exercises take months of consistent effort for even small changes to occur, so it’s important to be realistic about the progress you’re going to make.

While it isn’t as effective as orthodontic treatments, it’s an option that anyone can do anywhere without having to sacrifice your time, money, and general wellness.


While thumbpulling does come with some risks and side effects, it may be a good choice for patients who are looking for a non-surgical treatment option with a shorter recovery time.

If you are considering thumbpulling, you should try it out and see how it works for you.

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