Which position is your tongue right now?
The correct tongue position whenever your face is resting is A, and it is often called “Mewing”.
So what is "Mewing"? I often talk about Mewing, and it is NOT about a cat, but correct Tongue Posture®! Why is the correct tongue position called “Mewing?” It is because it is nicknamed after Dr. Mike Mew, a British dentist who started educating about it on YouTube. (Check our collaboration with Dr. Mike Mew here.)
Mewing is proper Tongue Posture® that involves placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth, specifically the palate, rather than the bottom of the mouth or between the teeth. This is because when the tongue fully touches the palate, it helps lift the maxilla bone, resulting in a lifted face with numerous benefits. Conversely, if the tongue is placed on the bottom of the mouth, the weight of the muscles pulls the face downward, leading to a sagging appearance. It is crucial, particularly for young individuals still growing, to master the correct Tongue Posture®.
Let me introduce 3 health and beauty benefits.
3 Health Benefits:
1. Easier nasal breathing
Nasal breathing is much healthier than mouth breathing because the nose has 3 filters to reduce negative foreign objects such as viruses. (1. Mucus, 2. Hair and 3. Tonsillar Lymphoid) With the tongue up and flat on the palate, the airway is more open, so it’s easier to keep the nose breathing. We offer Sleep Tape™ to help keep your mouth shut while sleeping, so it’ll be easier to nose breathe as well.
2. Helps prevent snoring or sleep apnea
If you are snoring or your partner is, or even having sleep apnea, the correct tongue position may help prevent those. The reason why you are snoring (or having sleep apnea) is that you are not breathing peacefully from the nose. With a more open airway, you will be able to breathe more easily, with less or no snoring or sleep apnea.
3. Helps reduce jaw pain
Jaw pain is one of the modern symptoms that so many experience, due to stress, but in fact, it’s not just coming from mental stress, but also from physical stress in the face. The physical stress in the face comes partially from the wrong tongue position because when the tongue is down, it adds tension in the lower face, including the masseter muscles where TMJ is located. If you are interested in some Koko Face Yoga exercises to reduce jaw discomfort, check the tutorials here.)
3 Beauty Benefits:
1. Lifts up the face
Because the tongue is on the palate flat, it slightly lifts the maxilla bone which is the center of the face. I don’t want you to misunderstand that you are supposed to lift the palate hard, but just lightly touching is good enough here, because you are doing the position for a long time. If you want to lift up cheeks, you want to lift up the bones under the cheeks, and mewing would do that.
2. Defined Jawline
When Mewing, you will be activating sleeping muscles where the tongue is connected (the roof of the tongue, blue here), so you will achieve a more defined jawline easily. A defined jawline is the most commonly noticed benefit from Mewing Tongue Posture®.
3. No more double chin
You can instantly tone the neck and double chin area thanks to the same logic as above. If you haven’t been Mewing just because you didn’t know that you are supposed to do it, but you have toned muscles there, you will erase your double chin in a second! Yes, I say one second. It is just that simple.
Now, let’s talk about what the proper Tongue Posture® is like.1. The tongue is laying flat on the palate
2. The tip of the tongue is right behind the upper teeth
When it’s touching the upper teeth, it can move the upper teeth out, especially if your face is still growing.
3. Keep good body posture Otherwise, you might experience difficulty with breathing.
Now you might be wondering how to do that. Then let’s move on to the 5 tips to help you easily achieve proper Tongue Posture® aka Mewing.
To perform the suction technique for proper Tongue Posture®, slowly press your tongue onto the palate before clicking it into place. This light suction or touching flat should be maintained for around 23 hours per day, including during sleep, to make it a habit and ensure constant correct Tongue Posture®, even unconsciously.
One Warning: Although I say “suction”, you should NOT be hard sucking. It should be lightly touched when your face is resting. “Suction” is only for this tip for you to understand what Mewing is like.
2. N Exercise
If the “Clicking” technique above does not work for you, try saying "N, N, N, N, N" while expanding your tongue slightly to the sides and fully touching the palate.
3. Swallow saliva only
Accumulate saliva in your mouth and then swallow while expanding your tongue slightly to the sides and fully touching the palate.
4. Drink water
This is similar to accumulating saliva, but this time try the same swallowing with a slightly more amount of liquid than saliva to work with. Slowly drink water, and when you swallow, expand your tongue slightly to the sides rather than the front. This technique may be easier to feel and perform correctly.
5. Slide, by feeling the speed bumps
Involves feeling the two-speed bumps on the palate. Begin by placing your tongue close to the throat and slowly sliding it along the palate while maintaining contact. You should feel a soft speed bump near the throat and a hard speed bump behind the upper teeth. Keep the same contact and pass both speed bumps to achieve full light suction on the palate.
The tongue should be fully expanded on the palate for correct mewing, especially for young people. If not, the palate won't grow properly, leading to crooked teeth. If your face is still growing, you should definitely take advantage of this so you can avoid orthodontics treatment such as wearing braces. If you are a young mother with kids, please teach them as soon as they start understanding.
Mewing Tongue Posture® is safe, but it can cause some side effects if done incorrectly. Potential results are:
1. Asymmetrical Face
If the tongue is touching only some part of the palate vs the full palate, it can cause an asymmetrical face, because the tongue is lifting up the right or left side of the palate only. Ex. If the tongue is tilted toward the right side, it lifts up the right upper jaw (maxilla), which results in an asymmetrical jaw, cheeks, and eyes. Asymmetry patterns vary, depending on the condition, but more people are right jaw dominant and the tongue tends to be positioned on the right side in general. If you are interested in learning more about asymmetrical Mewing, check the video here.)
2. Cannot breathe easily
If you cannot breathe from the nose easily with Mewing tongue position, it’s very likely that your body posture is bad enough to obstruct the airway. Keep your head above your butt, open your chest and shoulder down, and deep breathing from the nose and exhale with the tongue up and flat on the palate. You should be able to breathe easily.
3. Jaw tension
If you do hard mewing (vs soft mewing), it may cause unnecessary tension in the TMJ areas. Hard mewing means that the tongue is touching the palate too hard, causing too hard suction. (Hard Mewing VS Soft Mewing video here.) You should not press hard. No pressure.
In general, young boys tend to do too hard to quickly create square jaws, but it is not recommended. You will achieve a defined jawline naturally, just by touching softly for a long period of time. Once you master a bad habit too hard mew, you might not be able to fix the bad habit, so it’s better not to get the bad habit from the beginning.
In addition to mewing, it is very important to keep a tiny space between your upper and lower teeth whenever your face is resting. There is a bad habit commonly done by modern people: TCH, Teeth Contact Habit. It creates light tension in the jaw and because you are doing it all the time, it accumulates to jaw pain. You can see that when the teeth are touching, the TMJ (red) space is smaller, which causes pain. (Check the TCH video here.)