Dr. Mike Mew & John Mew: Who Created Mewing and Orthotropics?

An article about John and Mike Mew, creators of the mewing technique.
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Certified specialist with 5 years of extensive dental and orthodontic experience
Dr. Mike Mew & John Mew: Who Created Mewing and Orthotropics?
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There’s one thing everyone on the planet has in common – the uniqueness of their face. Even seemingly identical twins have some defining characteristics to make it possible to tell them apart. 

Your face is also your first point of contact with others, and we all strive to find perfection in our appearance. However, the shape of your face forms at a very young age. 

As many children grow, their faces will begin growing downwards, or vertically. This leads to appearance complications. For example, downward growth can lead to a receding chin, a large nose, and a less-than-chiseled jawline, all of which our society considers unappealing.

On the other hand, others experience outward, or horizontal growth. This type of growth leads to a more pronounced chin, straighter nose, and chiseled facial appearance. 

Unfortunately, for most of history, the only way to correct issues caused by vertical growth was technical. Braces and other invasive procedures set the precedent for the treatment of vertical growth in the face; that is until John and Mike Mew invented mewing and orthotropics. 

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Who are John & Mike Mew?

John Mew and his son, Dr. Mike Mew, are the inventors of the mewing technique. John Mew believed that narrow jaws resulting in teeth crowding were a lifestyle issue, rather than a genetic one. This belief has been backed up by paleoanthropologists like Daniel Lieberman and Peter Ungar. 

As he worked in orthodontics, Mew realized that mechanical treatments were effective in straightening teeth. However, these traditional methods of treatment didn’t address the underlying cause of dental crowding. In some cases, Mew came to the conclusion that traditional orthodontic mechanics could result in harm to facial growth. 

In an effort to solve this problem, John Mew studied orthodontics techniques in Germany in the late 1960’s. These studies resulted in the development of Orthotropics, a concept surrounding facial growth guidance through proper tongue posture. This involves mewing, or the proper placement of the tongue, as a way to widen the upper palette, resulting in enough room for all 32 teeth. 

John Mew has authored several scientific papers and two books surrounding his findings and development of Orthortopics. 

John’s son Mike took up an interest in orthodontics and followed an educational path to become an orthodontist so he could produce better outcomes for patients. He became passionate about the development of the face and the relationship between posture, muscle function, and orthodontic problems. Today, Dr. Mike Mew is a lecturer and lead clinician at the London School of Facial Orthotropics.

John and Mike continue to work on their passion to expand orthotropics and a skill known as the mewing technique, a technique that started to gain mainstream attention in 2019 and which has produced countless positive outcomes since. 

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What is orthotropics?

John and Mike Mew realized that many of the issues surrounding teeth and jaw alignment were the result of poor mouth and tongue posture, much like many instances of back pain are caused by poor sitting and standing posture. 

As a result, the two worked to develop techniques for better posture that would lead to better alignment of the teeth and jaw. Hence, the practice of orthotropics was born. 

Today, orthotropics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on tongue posture as a means for expanding the upper jaw in children, thus creating enough room for all teeth to grow where they should. Once the 

Unlike braces, which require patients to wear retainers for life, orthotropics aims to permanently move the jaw and face into the ideal position when the patient is at rest. As such, there is no need for an oral retainer once the treatment is complete. 

What is the mewing technique?

John and Mike Mew found that mouth breathing is one of the biggest issues with facial structure growth. Essentially, many people hold their tongues at the bottom of their mouths and breathe out of their mouths rather than their noses. This improper posture is what leads to the issues mentioned above. 

Mewing is the practice of actively changing your mouth posture to hold your tongue at the top of your mouth, promoting nose breathing and better overall posture. When you’re mewing, the goal is to press your tongue to the top of your mouth just behind your front teeth. 

Mewing is often associated with orthotropics, but is only one piece. This is the part of orthotropics that focuses on posture in an attempt to push the upper front teeth forward, but it doesn’t relate to the brace used in orthotropics to push the bottom jaw forward. 

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When should you start the mewing technique?

As with any other form of body posture, oral and tongue posture starts young. Those with good posture as young children will enjoy the benefits of their posture throughout their lives. However, those with poor oral and tongue posture may be forced to deal with teeth crowding, crooked teeth, TMJ, and even unattractive facial features like a recessed chin. 

As a result, it’s best to start mewing as soon as possible. Most experts suggest that mewing should start between ages 4 and 10 to promote good head and oral posture as early as possible. On the other hand, plenty of patients ages 25 and older have found success with the mewing technique - though it does take longer to see results. 

How long does it take to see results from mewing?

The length of time it takes to see results from mewing depends on when you start. Though it’s best to start mewing at a young age, you can take advantage of its benefits at any stage of life. The difference is in how long it takes for the activity to show results. Here’s the timetable:

  • Under 18 Years Old: If you’re under 18 years old, you should start seeing the benefits of mewing within 1-3 months. 
  • 18 - 25 Years Old: Those between 18 and 25 years old should start seeing the benefits within 3 to 6 months. 
  • Over 25 Years Old: It may take between 6 and 12 months to see results from mewing if you’re over 25 years old. 

How to tell if your tongue is in the right position for mewing

Proper mewing posture is key for this to work; it requires you to have your tongue in the right place. Here’s a checklist to make sure your tongue is in the right place as you mew. 

  • Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth just before your teeth. 
  • Ensure that your tongue isn’t touching your front teeth (it can lead to tongue thrust). 
  • Make sure your teeth are touching, but not clenched tightly. 
  • Open your mouth and try to breathe. If you can’t breathe through your mouth, you’re on the right track. 
  • You’re able to breathe through your nose. 

Evidences of mewing effectiveness

Since mewing hit the mainstream media in 2019, there have been countless before and after images posted from people who have taken part in the process. You’ll likely be amazed at the results. Check out mewing before and after pictures to see just how surprising the results of this posture exercise can be. 

As you look at the pictures, you’ll notice that several patients experienced crowded teeth, recessed chin, and other unattractive facial features prior to mewing. After mewing, these issues typically become issues of the past. 

The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or a substitute for professional guidance. Mewing and other techniques mentioned on this website may not be suitable for everyone, and individual results may vary. We strongly recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as an orthodontist, dentist, or myofunctional therapist, before starting any new oral or facial exercises, particularly if you have existing dental, orthodontic, or health concerns.
Written by
Yury Nebyshynets
June 27, 2023