In the digital landscape of TikTok, YouTube, and reddit, an unusual dental preoccupation has sprung up, especially among boys and young men called “mewing”.
What is Mewing?
A term coined from the name of British orthodontist Dr. John Mew, is a technique that involves the intentional placement of the tongue against the palate throughout the day. The theory proposed by Dr. Mew suggests that this habitual act can influence the facial structure, particularly the shape and prominence of the jawline, by exerting consistent, gentle pressure on the bones of the face and skull.
Science in Doubt
However, the foundations of mewing stand on shaky ground within the dental community. Traditional orthodontics relies heavily on peer-reviewed research, clinical trials, and empirical evidence, all of which are largely absent when it comes to the claims about mewing.
The direct cause-and-effect relationship that mewing promises a stronger, more defined jawline resulting from specific tongue posture are what remains largely unproven and untested in rigorous scientific studies.
However, the orthodontic community's reservations haven't deterred mewing's popular spread across various online communities, particularly among boys and young men. The prospect of achieving chiseled jawlines and rectifying perceived facial flaws through a seemingly straightforward and non-invasive technique has been enticing to many. If it sounds too good to be true…
Dental professionals have tried to throw cold water on the lack of scientific evidence for mewing in mainstream news media and on their own TikTok content. However, the viral spread of mewing underscores the profound influence that social media can exert on oral health behaviors, particularly among young, impressionable individuals.
We will keep working to protect our patients.