What is Mewing?
Mewing consists of changing your tongue’s posture so that it rests on the roof of your mouth, making your jawline look tighter. “Mewing = no double chin. Tongue tip behind mouth. Vacuum. Pull back,” demonstrates TikToker Caroline Hannibal.
You may be wondering whether this technique actually works. You may be trying the technique as we speak and feeling how awkward and unnatural shifting the position of your tongue while keeping your mouth closed can be.
Can Mewing Actually Sculpt Your Jawline?
Many TikTokers rave about mewing, claiming that doing it on a regular basis chiseled their jawlines. “I literally thought the only option left was fillers,” wrote TikTok user @azarialuvsu, who shared an impressive before and after photo of her jawline in a video about the practice.
It sounds promising, but the benefits of mewing remain scientifically unproven. While before and after photos show differences, they are not the most reliable: lighting and posture also come into effect. Mewing does work temporarily – if you try it and take a selfie, you’ll notice an instant difference – but whether those changes are lasting is debatable.
“Sure, manipulating your facial muscles to change the shape of your appearance can work for a very temporary amount of time,” shared Ryan Higgins, D.D.S., in a Shape article. “Bodybuilders do it every time they flex on stage. However, as soon as you relax your taut muscles, your soft tissue will return to its resting position and thus makes mewing very temporary as a means to reshape the jawline and eliminate a ‘double chin.’”
Are There Dangers To Mewing?
If you want to test mewing to see if those TikTokers are onto something, know that adopters of the practice say that you’re supposed to do it all the time until you get used to placing your tongue that way. And this can come with downsides.
“Mewing requires you to keep your teeth touching at times that are unnatural, which can potentially wear them down and maybe even cause cracks in the enamel,” she adds. “Unless you’re a clencher or grinder, upper and lower teeth only touch when swallowing and don’t even always touch when chewing as food will be between them. If overdone, unnatural position of the tongue and jaw posture could also cause aches in the mouth, jawline and neck. Misalignment of the teeth is also a risk,” Dr. Tara Francis, cosmetic dentist and advanced facial aesthetician, told Glamour.
To Mew or Not to Mew?
If you’re feeling insecure about the shape of your face and want to try a beauty trend that doesn’t require injectables or surgery to chisel your jawline, it’s unclear whether mewing will help you. Experts don’t recommend it, content creators rave about it, so the reported benefits of mewing are pretty much anecdotal. And you’ll probably have to do it for long periods of time to see results. It can also potentially cause issues in the long run.
One thing is for sure though: Mewing can help you take a killer selfie, and you can take a cue from the playbook of celebrities to improve your posing – it will work for that.