How to Swallow While Mewing: Proper Swallowing Technique

An estimated 85% of people don't swallow correctly, as they never completely transitioned from an infantile swallow to an adult swallow. Incorrect swallowing is also known as infantile or reverse swallowing.
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How to Swallow While Mewing: Proper Swallowing Technique
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Did you know that you can improve your jawline by mewing and swallowing correctly?

Many people don't even realize that they are not swallowing correctly, despite the negative effects it has on their overall health and facial looks.

In this article, we will be discussing

  • What is incorrect swallowing?
  • What effects does it have on your health and appearance?
  • How to swallow correctly while mewing?

And much more. So now, let's dive straight into it.

What is Incorrect Swallowing?

Swallowing is one of the few actions that start as a conscious action that we initiate and it continues as a subconscious action that we don't control. While we can control the section within our mouth, the part in our throat happens automatically. 

An estimated 85% of people don't swallow correctly, as they never completely transitioned from an infantile swallow to an adult swallow. Incorrect swallowing is also known as infantile or reverse swallowing.

In reverse swallowing, the lips are open and there is heightened activity in the lower lip area. The teeth are not in contact and the tongue moves downward and forward between the teeth. Your mandible ( lower jaw ) moves backward during reverse swallowing. The body of your tongue also moves away from the maxilla.

This type of swallowing pattern can lead to various oral and digestive problems, some of which are discussed next.

Effects of Incorrect Swallowing

In an infantile swallow, your tongue is placed forward between your front teeth. This can result in your tongue pushing against your teeth as you swallow, which over time, can put excessive pressure on your teeth causing them to shift out of place. As a result, your teeth can become crooked.

Studies have also shown that incorrect swallowing can also lead to an open bite. An open bite is a condition in which your upper and lower teeth don't align.

  • Speech problems

Swallowing and speech are closely related, and incorrect swallowing can have a negative effect on your ability to speak. A person with an improper swallowing pattern may display a lisp or have difficulty pronouncing different words.

  • Compressed TMJ

Your temporomandibular joint becomes compressed when your lower jaw moves backward, which happens during reverse swallowing. This can trigger headaches and jaw pain.

If you are facing difficulties while swallowing, it is recommended to visit a doctor as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause and get it treated before it gets more severe. 

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Reasons for Improper Swallowing

There can be various reasons for improper swallowing, including:

  • Improper tongue posture: Your tongue plays a crucial role in swallowing, and incorrect tongue posture such as resting your tongue at the bottom of your mouth can contribute to many complications including improper swallowing patterns.
  • Dry mouth: Dry mouth is a condition in which your salivary glands don't produce enough saliva. This is often a result of dehydration, which means your body doesn't have enough fluids to produce the normal amount of saliva. Therefore, dry mouth can lead to incorrect swallowing as it affects your normal swallowing pattern.
                     Healthy mouth vs Dry mouth

  • Medical conditions: Swallowing disorders such as dysphagia can lead to difficulties while swallowing, which can cause coughing or pain during or after you swallow.
  • Mouth breathing: Studies have shown that mouth breathing is linked to tongue thrusting, which refers to the habit of pushing your tongue against the front teeth either when you are swallowing or when your tongue is at rest.
  • Incorrect body postures: According to a 2017 study by the National Library of Medicine, your neck and head postures have an impact on swallowing, and bad body posture can lead to improper swallowing.

It is important to note that causes for incorrect swallowing can vary from person to person. If you suspect that you or someone you know has incorrect swallowing patterns, it is best to contact a doctor so that he/she can evaluate the severity of your situation.

How to Swallow Correctly While Mewing

As we already know, maintaining correct tongue posture is the key component of mewing, and when done correctly, swallowing properly will become a very easy task for you. However, it is common to experience difficulty mewing and swallowing correctly when you are a newcomer.

Correct Your Tongue Posture

You need to first work on your tongue posture to ensure that you are swallowing correctly. Correct tongue posture is when your tongue rests on the roof of your mouth, behind your front teeth. Your lips should be closed and your teeth can either be slightly separated or gently touched. But it is important not to clench them with force.

Correct and incorrect tongue posture

Here are a few ways that can help you correct your tongue posture, which will ultimately help you swallow correctly

The “NNN Technique”

Dr. John Mew, recommends this technique as it is one of the most effective methods to achieve proper tongue posture. Here is how you can do this method

  1. The best way to start is by saying the letters “NG”, not just a slight “n”, but “NG” like in the word “King”. This will force your tongue up onto your palate. Remember this position, as this is where your tongue is supposed to be.
  2. Try to suction your tongue onto the palate. If it makes a “click” sound when you release your tongue from that position, you will know that you have sealed your tongue onto the palate.

Maintaining correct tongue posture may seem difficult at first, but if you keep on practicing this technique and get your tongue posture right, you will be amazed by the effects that it has on your health and facial appearance.

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Tongue Posture Exercises

There are some exercises that can help you develop the habit of keeping your tongue in the correct position. Some of them are

The Max Tongue Press

Here is a step-by-step guide

  1. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  2. Use suction to place your tongue flat against the palate.
  3. Push your tongue as hard as you can on the roof of the mouth.
  4. Your teeth should be as they are in a normal bite but very lightly touching. You should not try to bite hard or try to clench them.

You can hold this position for a couple of minutes, and then gradually reduce the force that your tongue exerts on the palate by half. After a few more minutes, reduce the force again in half, and continue doing so until you are using minimal force. Effectively, this will create a balance within your mouth and mewing is all about creating a balance.

Warning: People with temporomandibular joining (TMJ) problems should avoid this exercise.

Tongue Chewing 

This exercise is performed using a chewing gum

  1. Put a piece of gum in your mouth
  2. Use your tongue to press it against the roof of your mouth
  3. Roll the gum into a ball and squeeze it into the roof of the mouth again
  4. Push the gum forward using your tongue from the middle of the palate to the front
  5. Repeat

Improve Your Breathing

The majority of people breathe subconsciously and we generally don't care if we breathe through our mouth or our nose. As we don't realize the difference between these two very different ways.

Mouth breathing is generally considered unhealthy by most experts, as it can lead to various complications including an open mouth posture and crooked teeth. 

Normally, the tongue is supposed to rest on the palate, but when we breathe through our mouth, our tongue tends to rest on the floor or bottom of our mouth to make space for the air to pass in and out. This can make it challenging to keep proper tongue posture, which can lead to incorrect swallowing.

Nasal breathing is considered better as it doesn't interfere with your tongue posture. It also has numerous other benefits including

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Additional Tips for Improved Swallowing 

Here are some tips that can help you improve your swallowing pattern

Change Your Diet 

A dysphagia diet is designed for those individuals who experience difficulty swallowing. This diet consists of soft foods. Soft foods are mostly composed of moist and soft textured things that are easier to eat.

Some of the recommended foods in this dietary plan are:

  • Thick liquids/beverages
  • Pancakes moisturized with syrup
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft fruits like bananas, and strawberries
  • Soft vegetables like mashed potatoes
  • Desserts like pudding, ice cream, and jello

This diet focuses on minimizing the effort required to swallow food, allowing individuals with swallowing problems to swallow more comfortably. 

You should avoid foods that are hard to chew, dry, and sticky if you have difficulty swallowing. Examples of such foods include:

  • Chips
  • Dry bread
  • Seeds/nuts
  • Tough meat (bacon, hot dogs, sausages )
  • Peanut butter
  • Raw fruits, and vegetables

Keep in mind that these are just a few examples, and your dietary restrictions may vary depending on the severity of your condition.

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Eat and Swallow Consciously 

The majority of people rush through their meals, they eat and swallow like they are on autopilot. However, eating mindfully can have a lot of benefits. Here are some things that you should consider to ensure that you are swallowing and eating correctly.

  • Avoid talking while eating: Talking during eating increases the risk of the food entering the windpipe instead of entering the food pipe.
  • Take small bites: By taking smaller bites, you can reduce the stress on your jaw muscles, and it is easier to swallow small pieces compared to large chunks. Additionally, smaller bites decrease the risk of food getting stuck in your throat.
  • Chew properly: Proper chewing is essential for good swallowing and digestion. It is commonly recommended to chew each bite of food around 32 times, which will break down the food into smaller pieces and allow saliva to mix with it thoroughly, making it much easier to swallow.

Note: Chewing 32 times is just an average number, and some hard foods such as nuts,  may need to be chewed more. While soft foods like watermelon may require fewer chews.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration plays an important role in swallowing. Dehydration happens when your body loses more fluids than you take in. And when you are dehydrated, your salivary glands tend to produce less saliva, which can result in a dry mouth.

Moreover, people with dysphagia ( trouble swallowing ) are at an increased risk of dehydration, especially if they are old or have other medical conditions as well.

Our sense of thirst diminishes as we age, this is why many old people don't even realize that they are dehydrated. According to Lay Press, around 75% of people in the USA suffer from chronic dehydration

Some of the common symptoms of dehydration are

  • Headaches
  • Dry Tongue
  • Dizziness
  • Having dark-colored urine
  • Feeling tired

It is recommended to drink 8-ounce glasses or two 2-liters of water daily to stay hydrated. But some people like active athletes who sweat a lot daily may need to drink even more to stay fully hydrated.

Correct your body posture

Just like your tongue posture, your body posture is also important when it comes to swallowing, and if you are facing difficulties while swallowing, it could be because of your incorrect body posture.

A research was conducted by NIA on 186 subjects, to determine the self-perceived difficulty in swallowing on a scale of 1 to 10. With 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest.

It was concluded that on all tested postures, the self-perceived difficulty for swallowing was found to be least when the subjects were sitting upright, while it was most difficult when they were lying horizontally face up.

For individuals with severe oral issues that affect their ability to swallow, it is highly recommended to consult with a healthcare professional. By doing this, they can better evaluate your condition and prescribe you the most effective treatment.

What Should Swallowing Look and Feel Like?

Swallowing should feel effortless and natural. When it comes to mewing, feeling a slight upward pressure on your face is a positive sign indicating that you are mewing correctly. This is because your tongue is firmly pressed up against the roof of your mouth.

Many individuals may feel as if they are swallowing air in addition to saliva during swallowing. However, it is important to note that this sensation is not ideal. Ideally, one should feel like as they are swallowing only saliva.

During the mewing process, there should be a slight vacuum in your mouth, and if you get the sensation that you are swallowing air as well, then you are not mewing correctly.

When you swallow, your lips and cheeks should remain still and there should be no visible movement on your face. The only movement that occurs should be that of your thyroid, which moves up and down in your throat when you swallow.


The way we swallow affects not only our oral health but our facial features too. As we discussed, incorrect swallowing can lead to crooked teeth and an open bite, which are generally considered unattractive.

Swallowing and mewing properly, combined with other healthy habits such as a good diet, can be your key to achieving your desired facial look. However, mewing just like other natural techniques is not a quick fix. It can take months to show meaningful effects.

The most common mistake people make while mewing is inconsistency. If your tongue is not positioned correctly throughout the day, your swallowing pattern will suffer. Your tongue should be pressed up against the roof of your mouth at all times, except when you are eating or talking. This will promote correct swallowing.

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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
April 19, 2023