The concept of “mewing” has taken the internet by storm, especially in the realm of facial aesthetics and orthodontics. Coined by Dr John Mew, a British orthodontist, mewing is a tongue posture technique that claims to reshape the face over time, improve breathing, and even enhance overall health. Despite its growing popularity, the practice of mewing has its share of supporters and sceptics. This blogpost delves into the science, benefits, and criticisms of mewing.
What exactly is mewing?
Mewing involves placing the tongue against the roof of the mouth and maintaining this position as a default posture. According to Dr Mew, proper tongue posture can lead to an array of benefits, ranging from improved jawline and facial structure to enhanced breathing patterns.
The science behind mewing
Some scientific studies suggest that tongue posture can influence the shape of one’s facial structures. A 2016 study found that improper tongue posture could result in facial deformities and breathing issues.
But the evidence supporting mewing as a remedy for these issues is somewhat limited. Many of the claims are based on anecdotal reports and testimonials. While this doesn’t negate the potential benefits, it does make the scientific community wary of endorsing mewing as a universally accepted practice.
How to practise mewing
To get started with mewing, it’s crucial to identify the correct tongue position. The entire tongue, not just the tip, should be placed against the roof of the mouth. Initially, it may feel unnatural, but with consistent practice, it becomes second nature.
It’s advisable to consult an orthodontist or a healthcare professional before undertaking mewing, especially if you have pre-existing dental or facial issues.
Advocates of mewing claim that the practice offers numerous benefits beyond facial aesthetics. Improved tongue posture may lead to better breathing, which in turn can enhance sleep quality and even boost mental clarity.
Although research is ongoing, a 1997 study suggested that proper tongue posture could indeed have a positive impact on breathing and sleep apnoea symptoms.
Criticisms and concerns
Not everyone is sold on the benefits of mewing. Critics argue that there’s not enough scientific evidence to support the sweeping claims made by proponents. Some orthodontists also express concern that incorrect mewing techniques could potentially worsen existing dental issues.
Who can benefit?
While mewing is primarily targeted at individuals who seek to improve their facial aesthetics, it may also benefit those with sleep apnoea, snoring issues, or speech impediments. As with any health practice, it’s important to approach mewing with a balanced perspective and seek professional guidance.
Mewing is undoubtedly an intriguing concept that has captivated the attention of many. However, it’s crucial to separate fact from fiction and consider the available scientific evidence. With ongoing research and an increasing number of testimonials, the practice of mewing may gain more credibility in the coming years, or it may find its place among other wellness fads. Either way, it’s a topic that warrants closer scrutiny.
Dr Sophia Williams is a dental surgeon with a special interest in orthodontics and facial aesthetics.