The AAO has come out against the viral social media trend of “mewing” for its potential to cause unintended and harmful side effects.
Social media’s latest viral trend, known as “mewing,” is raising concerns within the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) due to its potential for causing unintended, and potentially harmful, side effects.
Mewing, named after controversial orthodontist John Mew who lost his license due to unsupported claims, advocates for specific tongue placement as a way to reshape the jawline and improve facial aesthetics. However, this unregulated practice lacks scientific backing and carries risks of:
- Dental Issues: Chronic pressure from mewing can loosen teeth, misalign bite, and contribute to tooth wear and tear.
- Speech Impediments: Altered tongue placement can affect speech patterns and clarity, causing slurring or pronouncing difficulties.
- May require complicated treatment to resolve issues
“While proper tongue posture plays a role in oral health and development, mewing oversimplifies the complexities of facial structure,” said Myron Guymon, DDS. MS, AAO president. “There’s no scientific evidence to support its claims of reshaping the jawline, and the potential risks outweigh any unproven benefits.”
The AAO advises against relying on unproven, online trends for altering facial features and maintains that orthodontic treatment remains the safest and most effective way to address jaw misalignment and cosmetic concerns.
“Social media is a powerful tool for informing the public in many subject areas, including Mewing, but it is not regulated by experts,” said Guymon. “Unfortunately, many members of the public quickly fall prey to theories that have not been scientifically tested.”