What is Proper Mewing Tongue Posture?

Where should your tongue rest? Read this article and find out how proper tongue posture can affect your face structure.
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Certified specialist with 5 years of extensive dental and orthodontic experience
Proper Mewing Tongue Posture: Before and After Adopting Correct Resting Tongue Position

Correct tongue posture is the first step towards a gorgeous face shape and healthy breathing. Find out how proper mewing tongue placement changes your face.

What Is Proper Tongue Posture?

While it’s clear for everyone that proper posture is important for spine health, only a few think about tongue posture. However, it’s also very important for dental and orofacial wellness. 

Proper tongue posture is the correct placement of the tongue in your mouth. 

So, where is your tongue supposed to rest? 

Your tongue should be touching the roof of the mouth when resting. Tongue posture when your tongue is pressed against the hard palate is beneficial for the face shape and respiration, explains Dr. Ron Baise, a dentist

Proper Tongue Posture Diagram

The following pictures show a proper tongue resting posture. 

Correct tongue posture diagram

Correct tongue posture diagram

Correct tongue posture diagram
Correct tongue posture diagram

How to Know if Your Tongue Is in the Right Position

As Erdenheim dentists explain, your tongue will be in the right position when you focus on resting it on the roof of your mouth about half an inch from your teeth. Your lips should be sealed and teeth slightly separated.

However, if you’re still not sure if your tongue posture is correct, check out the following symptoms indicating a problem with tongue position.

  • Elongated mouth breathing face
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Poor posture and neck pain
  • Crowded teeth
  • Pain in the jaw joint

Why Correct Tongue Resting Position Is Important

EricDavis from Dental Dentistry points out that the tongue is the strongest mouth muscle, forming the face shape. At the same time, the face shape dictates the teeth positioning. The upper (maxilla) and lower jaws are in contact and wide enough with a proper tongue resting position. Such mouth posture is perfect to keep the teeth even and avoid crowding. 

When it comes to mewing, Dr. Mew bases this concept on orthotropic, the main idea of which is proper tongue resting position.Orthotropics suggest that bad posture and breathing issues are to blame for teeth misalignment and face shape. So, according to BlackHawk Dental Care, proper tongue positioning can prevent teeth crowding, improve sleep, and decrease neck pain and headaches.

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How Tongue Posture Affects Your Facial Structure and Aesthetics

As was mentioned, proper tongue posture helps the upper and lower jaws to stay in contact, making the face structure more attractive. At the same time, poor tongue posture can lead to face shape asymmetry, teeth misalignment, and a weak jawline.

As the correct tongue posture widens the maxilla, promoting its growth up and forward, it benefits the facial aesthetics:

  • High cheekbones
  • Prominent jawline
  • Teeth crowding is alleviated
  • Prevents “a long face”
  • Face structure is more proportional 

A Long Face Is Often Caused by Poor Tongue Posture

A long face as an aftereffect of mouth breathing also involves poor tongue posture. It happens because mouth breathers are simply unable to keep the tongue pressed against the palate, as it would complicate breathing. As a result, the jaws become less developed and narrower, and the face looks elongated.

Narrower Mouth

A bad tongue resting position can cause contraction of the dental arches, making the mouth visually narrower. Not only such tongue posture creates “a long face”, but also leads to teeth misalignment. 

Narrow mouth changes after improving tongue posture
Narrow mouth changes after improving tongue posture

Poor Tongue Posture Leads to Recessed Jawline and Chin

Incorrect positioning of the tongue leads to a narrowing of the upper jaw and, consequently, a displacement and narrowing of the lower jaw. 

Poor tongue posture also affects the muscles connecting the neck to the chin (the platysma muscle), making them loose. As a result, a double chin starts forming. 

Tongue Posture and Gummy Smile 

Similarly, poor tongue posture can lead to such an issue as a gummy smile. It’s a smile that shows too much gum under the upper lip. When the tongue rests on the bottom between the back teeth, the upper teeth are moved towards lower teeth and overlapping them too much. This kind of tongue positioning results in a deep bite (upper teeth cover all of the lower teeth) and a gummy smile.

A gummy smile

Tongue Posture and Crowded Teeth

Dr. Davis, a dentist, explains the correlation between poor tongue posture and crowded teeth. With the tongue resting at the bottom of the mouth muscular balance is affected and the face is dragged down. Then maxilla narrows down without the tongue support, causing crooked teeth. 

Tongue Posture and Cheekbones

The same correlation with tongue posture and jaws works for cheekbones. Due to an incorrect tongue position, poorly developed jaws make the mid-face look smaller. Reduced tongue support for the jaws and cheekbones, results in them being less prominent. 

Correct Tongue Posture: Before and After Results

Many people have already corrected their resting tongue position. You can observe the proper tongue posture results and compare the mewing “before and after” photos

Before and after proper tongue posture

What Is Mewing Tongue Posture

Mewing tongue posture implies proper tongue position, i.e. pressed against the hard palate. Mewing exercises can be very helpful if you’re wondering how to correct tongue posture. 

Dr. Mew places the idea of a proper tongue posture in the center of the mewing concept and tells more about it in his videos. 

Learn how to mew from our detailed guide. 

Mewing tongue posture
Mewing tongue posture

How to Achieve Proper Tongue Placement

One of the most effective methods to achieve proper tongue placement is the “NG” technique. 

  1. Ensure your lips are sealed and you breathe through the nose
  2. Articulate the words “king”, ”sing”, and ”ring” stressing the NG
  3. Hold your tongue in that position as you articulate the NG
  4. Feel it forcing your tongue up to your hard palate
  5. Make sure your tongue isn’t touching the front teeth

Remember this proper tongue position and try to keep it like that constantly.

Proper Tongue Posture While Sleeping

Keeping your tongue in the right position during sleep is as important as doing it in the daytime. However, it’s difficult, especially for mouth breathers, as we can’t control it while sleeping. 

One of the ways how to keep a good tongue posture while asleep is to ensure your mouth is closed. Thus, it will be easier to rest the tongue up to your palate. Dr. Mew suggests mouth tape to keep your lips sealed at night. A chin strap can also be very helpful to hold your tongue in the correct position during sleep (but the safety of a chin strap for people with TMJ is doubted by several specialists). 

Proper tongue posture while sleeping

What Is Bad Tongue Posture

According to Dr. Mew, about 85% of the population has trouble with tongue posture, resting it at the bottom of the mouth, which is incorrect. As a result, people with bad tongue posture get poor facial development, breathing issues, and teeth misalignment. 

Results of bad and good tongue posture
Results of bad and good tongue posture

Causes of Bad Tongue Posture

There are a few causes of bad tongue posture, and most of them originate in early childhood. So, studies show that parents should teach their kids the correct tongue posture from the early years.

The main causes of poor tongue posture:

  • Mouth breathing (due to oral breathing the tongue always rests at the bottom of the mouth)
  • Lack of tough foods in the diet (Dr. Mew explains how soft food leads to less chewing and weakens the jaw muscles)
  • Thumb sucking (this bad habit involves placing the thumb on the roof of the mouth, where the tongue should rest; it makes the hard palate arch and narrows the maxilla)

Poor Tongue Posture Can Lead to Problems

The most common problems caused by poor tongue posture include:

  • Malocclusion – with bad tongue posture maxilla narrows down reducing the space for teeth; as a result, they are crooked.
  • Speech Issues – narrow jaws can lead to tongue thrust - speech difficulty when the tongue is pushed against the front teeth when talking or swallowing.
  • Soft jawline and double chin – poor tongue posture can reduce the support for your jaw and cheekbones, making them less prominent.
  • Sleep apnea and snoring – again, because of the narrowed palate that also reduces the proper respiration.
  • Tooth grinding – with the lack of space in the mouth, crooked teeth tend to grind and cause pain.

How Poor Tongue Posture Treated

There are two approaches to treating poor tongue posture - orthotropic and orthodontic. Both are aimed to cure orofacial issues, but with different methods. In adults with pre-existing problems, good treatment results are possible with only two methods at the same time.

Mewing and Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

Orofacial myofunctional therapy is a combination of physical therapy exercises to treat facial posture, bite, and breathing. According to Exceptional Dentistry, mewing and orofacial myofunctional therapy overlap, since they both aim to treat disorders of the mouth and the face. The goal of the mewing exercises is to activate the face muscles and coordinate them with the tongue posture. Orofacial myofunctional exercises require consistency and commitment to get a visible result.

Orthodontic Appliances

Orthodontic approaches to treating facial posture are mostly based on mechanical methods - braces, teeth extraction, and sometimes surgery. The narrowed jaws from poor tongue posture are sometimes treated by extracting the teeth to create more space. Then braces are applied to widen the maxilla and enable proper tongue posture.

Orthodontic appliances

Tongue Posture Exercises

There are a few useful tongue posture exercises to help you form a habit of keeping your tongue up against the hard palate. 

Dr. Mew recommends doing the following exercises:

Max tongue press

  • Put the tongue to the roof of your mouth
  • Use suction to place your tongue flat against the hard palate
  • Push your tongue as hard as you can
  • Make sure your teeth are in a normal bite, don’t clench them
  • Hold this position and breathe normally

Tongue chewing (with a gum)

  • Put chewing gum in your mouth
  • Do not chew it with your teeth, but squeeze it to the hard palate with the help of your tongue
  • Roll the gum into a ball and squeeze it into the roof of your mouth again
  • Push it forward from the middle part of the palate to the front
  • Repeat it as many times as possible

Proper Tongue Posture Q&A

Q: What Is Proper Tongue Position at Rest?

Proper tongue position at rest is in the roof of your mouth, pressed against the hard palate. The tip of the tongue should be a bit higher than the front teeth.

Q: Is Tongue Posture Real?

Tongue posture is real and it’s as important as a good posture. Correct tongue posture can prevent such problems as malocclusion, narrow palate, reduced airways, recessed jawline, and chin.

Q: Where Should Your Tongue Rest When Your Mouth Is Closed?

When your mouth is closed your tongue should rest on the roof of your mouth, pressed against the hard palate. Do not let it settle at the bottom of your mouth. 

Q: How to Improve Tongue Posture?

The easiest way to improve tongue posture is to get the mewing app and follow tutorials from there. 

Make sure your tongue is in the correct position at the roof of your mouth for as much time as possible. Try Dr. Mew’s exercises to improve tongue posture, and do the NG exercise to know exactly how your tongue should be placed. Regular practice is the key.

Q: Can I Change My Tongue Posture in My 20s?

Yes, your 20s is a great time to start mewing and improving tongue posture. Many young people of this age already show good results. Make sure you do tongue exercises regularly and diligently to see the result sooner.

Q: Does Tongue Posture Matter?

Yes, tongue posture matter when it comes to facial structure, dental health, and respiration. Proper tongue posture helps to avoid teeth misalignment, narrow jaws, elongated face, and blocked airways. 

Q: Can Tongue Posture Change Adult Face?

Adults can also improve tongue posture and see good results. It’s always better to start today whatever age you are, than not to try it at all. Some adults show great results and share them to inspire others.

Q: What Does Proper Tongue Posture Do to Your Face?

Proper tongue posture helps to make your face more aesthetically attractive thanks to the forward growth. Correct tongue position makes the upper jaw wider, creating enough space for the teeth and allowing the lower jaw to develop to the right size.

List of resources

  1. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/threats-to-dental-health/what-is-proper-tongue-posture-and-why-does-it-matter
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/tongue-posture
  3. https://www.chesheim-dental.com/wheres-your-tongue-supposed-to-rest-in-your-mouth/
  4. https://www.enclavedental.com/blog/2021/09/22/holistic-dentist-southlake-discusses-proper-tongue-positioning/
  5. https://www.ericdavisdental.com/faqs-and-blog/blog/tongue-posture-what-is-proper-tongue-posture-and-why-is-it-so-important/
  6. https://www.youtube.com/c/Orthotropics
  7. https://www.ericdavisdental.com/faqs-and-blog/blog/the-differences-between-orthotropics-and-orthodontics/
  8. https://blackhawkdental.com/2020/01/21/proper-resting-tongue-position-yes-thats-a-thing/
  9. https://www.bestfacefwd.com/new-to-mewing-start-here/
  10. https://brightside.me/inspiration-health/how-tongue-posture-can-change-your-face-801504/
  11. https://functionalsmiles.com/orthotropics/tongue-posture-plays-a-big-role-in-how-you-look/
  12. https://www.westenddental.com/blog/fixing-a-gummy-smile/
  13. https://facefocused.com/what-we-do/orthotropics-for-kids/proper-oral-posture/
  14. https://www.ericdavisdental.com/faqs-and-blog/blog/crooked-teeth-what-causes-crooked-teeth-and-how-to-fix-them/
  15. https://www.bestfacefwd.com/new-to-mewing-start-here/
  16. https://www.healthline.com/health/tongue-posture#signs-of-problems
  17. https://sleepopolis.com/sleep-accessories/best-anti-snoring-chin-straps/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137359/
  19. https://www.watagandental.com.au/copy-of-tongue-tie
  20. https://aaspeech.com/how-dental-problems-can-cause-speech-problems/
  21. https://www.mewing.app/blog/how-to-fix-weak-soft-jawline-and-receding-chin
  22. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/myofunctional-therapy-its-all-in-the-tongue#
  23. https://aomtinfo.org/myofunctional-therapy/
  24. https://mewingpedia.com/mewing-results-before-after/

Written by
Victoria Punda
June 7, 2022