Despite popular opinion, the internet might not have all the answers…especially when it comes to your facial structure. The online do-it-yourself facial restructuring trend known as mewing (which, by the way, is not a medical term) suggests that tongue placement can define your jawline. While proper tongue alignment could alter your facial structure, there’s more to it.
There’s more to facial restructuring.
It’s a complex process that involves changes in jaw bones, facial bones and soft tissue.
The natural resting position of your tongue is an important clue to what’s going on in your mouth. It could lead to tongue thrusting, or the tongue can even push teeth out of alignment causing bite problems or speech and swallowing problems.
Before considering doing it yourself, individuals should always start by asking themselves if they are comfortable starting treatment without knowing what is happening below the surface. Any unsupervised attempts to move teeth/align jaws is not recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
What should you do if you’re concerned about your tongue’s resting position?
Consult an AAO orthodontist who can evaluate your tongue position. Orthodontists are trained in understanding the structure of your teeth, jaw bones and facial bones. They can also properly evaluate how changing one part of the mouth may impact other parts—for example, how the natural resting position of your tongue may be affecting your speech or causing bite problems.
Before considering a DIY treatment, patients should consider the potential irreversible and expensive damage if not done correctly.
Trust an AAO orthodontist.
Orthodontists are the only dental specialists who have additional education and training focused exclusively on the movement of teeth, jawbones, facial bones, and soft tissue–3,700 hours of specialized training to be exact. They understand growth and development and are also called dentofacial orthopedists. Find an orthodontist near you at aaoinfo.org/locator.