Facial manipulation is a hot topic in the wellness space as of late. Gua sha, facial massage, and ice rolling are all some of the more popular techniques that have been said to change the appearance of your face. Some methods however, claim to have a more drastic effect.

One technique in particular, mewing, has gained some popularity on the Internet as a new facial reconstruction/orthodontic technique that has been said to reshape your face, straighten your teeth, and sharpen your jawline — without any risk of harm. So what exactly is mewing, does it work, and what are the risks?

Mewing has gained popularity on the Internet over the past few years as a non-invasive technique that is claimed to have a range of benefits, from alleviating muscle pain in your mouth to helping define your jawline and align your teeth. The method itself is simple: the goal is to flatten your tongue against the roof of your mouth, so that your entire tongue is pressing on the entirety of the roof of your mouth. For maximum effectiveness, it is suggested that one practices mewing constantly — so much so that your natural resting state becomes resting your tongue on the roof of the mouth. Basically, you should be doing it all the time so it eventually becomes your default resting position. If you are mewing correctly, you should feel mild pressure across the jaw, middle of your face, and chin. More on the exact technique behind mewing can be found here.

Mewing originated from Dr. Mike Mew, the host of a Youtube channel called Orthotropics, which has been around since 2012. Dr. Mew coined the term “orthotropics,” and has a background in orthodontics. This doctor’s credibility has since been questioned and the General Dental Council has revoked Dr. Mew’s dental license. The revocation was due to his public criticism of traditional orthodontic work and his unconventional methods.

So does mewing actually work? If the drastic benefits of a simple exercise sound too good to be true, you may be right. It is hard to say how effective mewing actually is at reshaping your jawline. There is no scientific evidence that mewing does anything to the shape of your face — or that it has any benefits at all. Some say that they have seen visible results within a few months, but other sites conclude that it could take years before you notice even small results, and there is no guarantee that results will even be visible at all. However, while the jury is still out on results, mewing has absolutely no risks or side effects so there is no harm in trying it out and seeing for yourself.

Ali Parsons graduated from The University of Washington with a degree in Media & Communications. She is passionate about nutrition, health, and wellness and is currently in the process of becoming a Registered Dietitian. Ali enjoys cooking, running, yoga, hiking and travel!

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