To achieve a straight smile, many people turn to expensive orthodontic treatments. Recently, a technique called mewing has been gaining popularity on social media as an alternative solution for straightening teeth. Mewing is a little-known practice that claims to correct structural, facial, orthodontic, and breathing issues without an orthodontist. However, the effectiveness of this technique is still up for debate.
Mewing: An Overview
Mewing, also known as orthotropics, was developed in the 1970s by British orthodontists Mike Mew and his father John. They introduced a new approach to teeth straightening that involved palate expanders and exercises as an alternative to traditional braces and other techniques. The Mews believed this method leads to a more defined jawline and improved overall appearance.
According to the Mews, our modern lifestyle and environment have led to jaws smaller than those of our ancestors. They believe that factors such as mouth breathing due to allergies and the availability of soft and chewy foods are the cause.
Mewing aims to correct jaw and teeth misalignments caused by improper breathing, poor facial posture, and poor diet using appliances and exercises that ensure proper tongue position. Resting the tongue on the roof of the mouth opens up the top jaw and allows teeth to grow and the jaw to move forward.
A smaller jaw can lead to crooked and crowded teeth. Mewing proponents claim that proper tongue posture can improve jaw size, strength, and squareness. Additionally, they believe that orthotropics can combat sleep apnea and promote a healthier respiratory system.
Mewing and Its Rise in Popularity on Social Media
In recent years, social media and online video platforms have brought attention to the benefits of mewing as an alternative to jaw surgery or traditional orthodontics. A search on Google Trends shows a significant increase in interest and popularity for mewing since January 2019.
Mike Mew and his YouTube videos have played a significant role in the recent rise of mewing. However, his controversial statements and criticism of traditional practices and orthodontics resulted in him losing his license. The British Orthodontic Society has criticized his social media statements, claiming they mislead patients and the general public. Mike’s father, John Mew, had also lost his license years before.
Mewing has also been loosely associated with the incel (involuntary celibate) movement, which blames society and women for their lack of sexual activity. The community became interested in orthotropics after a video of Mike Mew was posted on an incel message board in 2014. Mike engaged with the members of this community, many of whom hoped that improving their facial appearance would help them overcome their celibacy.
YouTube vloggers and other social media influencers had promoted mewing as a beauty treatment for adults, even when it was only suitable for children. This has caused the Mews to lose some control over their idea of orthotropics. However, this did not stop them; they instead began to treat a select group of adult patients to see if it was possible.
Mewing: How To Do It
The younger Mew, Mike, has developed several techniques to improve facial posture and features. While each Mewing exercise may vary, they all have the same goal: to correct facial posture and improve facial shape.
The basic steps for mewing include:
- Closing the lips
- Positioning the jaw so that the bottom front teeth are behind the upper front teeth
- Placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth
- Positioning the tip of the tongue behind the front teeth without touching them
Some suggest making the “ng” sound to help find the correct position. Other suggestions include focusing on exhaling through the nose instead of the mouth.
The Effectiveness of Mewing
Despite its popularity on social media, most dental experts do not accept mewing as a viable orthodontic solution. It lacks objective evidence and peer-reviewed studies to back its claims and assess its effects.
John Mew has stated that his children are his proof. According to him, his son had a square and muscular jaw because he was taught orthotropics and fed rough and hard food. On the other hand, he didn’t teach his daughter orthotropics, and she grew up with crooked teeth and poor facial alignment.
However, some of the issues that the Mews claim to address with mewing do have some scientific basis. Research has shown shrinking human jaw sizes that can lead to health issues such as crooked or misaligned teeth, breathing problems, and sleep apnea. Studies have also linked oral posture to jaw development. However, the solutions proposed by researchers are different from those the Mews advocate.
Age and Mewing
Age is an important factor that affects the effectiveness of mewing; the older a person is, the less effective it is likely to be. It is difficult to change a fully developed body. People over 25 may not see significant results from mewing.
Other Teeth Straightening Options
According to a dentist near Pagosa Springs, CO, you can straighten your teeth using braces, aligners, and retainers. Braces are the most common orthodontic treatment and come in different types, such as metal, ceramic, and lingual. Aligners are a good option for patients with mild to moderate misalignment. Retainers prevent teeth from relapsing after braces or aligners and should be worn full-time for the first six months and then at night for a lifetime.
Mewing is a technique that claims to straighten teeth without needing an orthodontist. But, it lacks scientific evidence to back it. Other options for straightening teeth include braces, aligners, and retainers, which are proven to be effective but are more expensive.
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this is so funny. I mew all the time when im working lol.