Mewing: The Secret to Reshaping Your Face?

Have you ever wondered if you could straighten your teeth without braces? The social media craze of mewing promises just that. Avid supporters of this practice suggest it can help realign the teeth and reshape the jaw without surgery or conventional orthodontic treatment. So, let’s unravel the truth of mewing and see if this fad is worth trying.

Key takeaways:

What is mewing?

The idea of mewing was developed in the 1970s by a British orthodontist named John Mew. He called his approach orthotropic treatment. It is based on retraining the tongue and strengthening the jaw muscles.

According to Dr. Mew, our conventional diets have caused the muscles in our face and neck to become weaker. This can then affect how the jaw grows and functions. Over time, muscle weaknesses can cause problems with:

  • Teeth alignment
  • Breathing
  • Swallowing
  • Overall body posture
  • TMJ pain
  • Speech

Over the years, Dr. Mew has met a lot of resistance to his beliefs. The British General Dental Council ultimately stripped him of his dental license because his teaching went against conventional orthodontic teaching, but that has not stopped him from continuing to support this practice.

Today, orthotropic education courses are available worldwide as the practice of mewing has gained support. Much of the research supporting mewing comes from the London School of Facial Orthotropics, where Dr. Mew and his son, Mike, continue to share their passion for orthotropic therapies.

How to mew

According to the Mews, the position of the tongue and how we breathe are the biggest factors affecting the face shape. Many people breathe with their mouths open rather than through their nose. This allows the tongue to rest on the floor of the mouth. Mewing focuses on retraining the tongue to stay in the roof of the mouth, just behind the upper front teeth. Therefore, mewing helps promote nasal breathing and correct body posture.

Using proper techniques is crucial for mewing. Here are 6 steps to help you practice mewing:

  1. Close your lips, relax your jaw, and keep your front teeth from touching.
  2. Touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of the mouth, just behind the upper front teeth.
  3. Flatten your tongue's body against the roof of your mouth.
  4. Using a small amount of pressure, gently suction the tongue to the roof of the mouth.
  5. Do not hold your breath, but continue to breathe through your nose.

In the picture below, you can see the correct tongue position for mewing.

Mewing guide

Swallowing should be fairly easy while you are mewing. Start practicing mewing with short increments of 20–30 seconds. As you strengthen the muscles, gradually increase to around 30 minutes daily. Mewing should become a daily habit for the best results.

Common mewing mistakes

Mastering the techniques of mewing takes time. Here are a few things to be mindful of while you develop your mewing habits.

Mouth breathing

Avoid breathing through your mouth. Even breathing with slightly opened lips can cause issues. Mouth breathing prevents proper tongue position, one of the main focuses of mewing. Mouth breathing can cause the following:

  • Permanently change orofacial structure development
  • Obstruct airways
  • Increase sleep disorders like sleep apnea
  • Cause increased fatigue
  • Lower productivity


While it is normal for your molars to touch lightly, avoid grinding. Your jaw muscles should remain slightly relaxed while mewing. Excessive force on the molars can cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, chipped or broken teeth, and tooth loss. So, stay mindful of how your teeth touch during the whole mewing process.


The proper mewing position should gradually become the normal resting position for your tongue, jaw muscles, and teeth. Therefore, committing to daily practice is essential. Practicing too few days will limit the results you see from mewing.

Therefore, strive to practice mewing for at least 30 minutes every day. You will likely see more benefits once mewing becomes part of your daily routine.

Tongue position

With proper tongue position, your tongue ideally should suction against the roof of the mouth when your tongue is not being used. However, due to many factors, a lot of people have developed an alternative tongue position that negatively affects facial development and jaw structures. Mewing focuses on retraining the tongue to this ideal position.

As you practice mewing, the tongue suctions to the roof of the mouth. The nasal passages are positioned directly above the roof of the mouth. The tongue suction creates a negative pressure on the top of the mouth. Over time, this reshapes the palate and opens the nasal passages to help restore nasal breathing.

Therefore, focus on maintaining the tongue pressure against the palate for as long as you can daily. Eventually, it should become the unconscious natural position of your tongue.

Benefits of mewing

The truth is, there is not a lot of scientific evidence for mewing. There are a lot of claims for its benefits in both prevention and restoration. However, more research and peer reviews are needed to prove the following benefits definitively.

Here are the most common benefits reported by people who have incorporated mewing into their daily routines:

  • Less snoring. Possibly due to improved tongue position and increased strength of the facial and neck muscles used during breathing.
  • Improved sleep disorders. Likely due to the same reasons that mewing can decrease snoring.
  • Stronger jaw muscles. This can help with disorders of the TMJ that can cause pain with eating and talking.
  • Better teeth alignment. Much of how our teeth fit together is determined by muscles used for chewing, breathing, and talking. Therefore, correcting resting postures of the tongue and jaw, improving airways, and strengthening muscles can all help realign teeth. This may sometimes prevent the need for orthodontic treatment of underbites, overbites, and crossbites.
  • Improved overall posture. When the airways are compromised, many people develop poor posture. Mewing helps to focus on overall proper body posture as well as tongue and jaw posture. The more we practice proper posture, the more natural it becomes.

Risks and side effects

Some negative side effects have been reported with mewing. These include:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • TMJ pain
  • Altered bite
  • Soreness in the mouth

It is important to note these are the same side effects associated with starting traditional braces as well. Most of these can be temporary and self-limiting. However, consulting a dental or medical provider may be necessary if the symptoms persist.

Does mewing actually work?

Both Dr. John Mew and Dr. Mike Mew have dedicated their careers to developing this technique. In fact, Dr. John believed in the benefits of mewing so much he lost his license supporting it.

Today, there are very avid supporters of mewing worldwide. Its practice is slowly being promoted in many dental schools, by various dental professionals, and those searching for a more holistic way to correct some health issues. However, more research is needed before we can definitively say if mewing works or not.

One thing has become clear, mewing has taken off on social media as a promising new technique for treating various dental and health concerns. By focusing on facial structure and correcting the tongue position, this method could change the way we approach oral health and overall well-being. Restoring proper or ideal function to our mouth, airway, and posture may be the key. These principles of mewing may hold the answers we have been searching for.

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