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3 months mewing, no results. Where to go from here?
I am writing this post to share my story and hopefully get advice from experienced mewers.
useful info about my case:
- 30 yo
- always breathed through my nose and kept the lips together, however the tongue has been on the floor of my mouth for my whole life.
- never chewed gum growing up
- that led to my teeth become very crooked
- wisdom teeth removed
- had some kind of orthodontic appliances during puberty, one I remember looking like an acryllic maxillary expander
- probably had relapse after the treatment since I never adopted good oral posture
- had Invisalign treatment from 18 to 20 that aligned my teeth more or less and gave me a good smile
- somewhat athletic and generally better posture than average
- developed long mid-face, hooked nose, recessed jaw, weak cheekbones
- tilted occlusal plane
- deep bite
- vaulted palate
- midline deviation
- snoring (that only started after the invisalign treatment, I didn´t snore before)
x-ray (bad pic, but should showcase the asymmetric ramus and antegonial notches):
After my Invisalign treatment I was left with 2 Essix retainers for the upper and lower jaw that I wore at night for the past 10 years. Those retainers caused me to clench my teeth during the night and I was advised by doctors to try to avoid clenching my teeth, so I trained myself to keep my jaws separated as much as possible during the night (while still maintaining lip seal). Obviously that didn´t help my facial development at all.
3 months ago I took Dr. Mew´s advice to swap my essix retainers for a fixed retainer covering the upper 4 teeth and the lower 6 teeth and work on my oral posture. Since then mewing has been on my mind so much, it´s almost distracting me from doing other work because it´s so challenging to always try to keep the tongue on the roof of my mind.
Unfortunately I have had no luck with mewing so far. I took 3 dental casts so far (one at the end of each month) and measured 37.5mm, 37.5mm and 37.4mm IMW with a digital caliper. So there has been certainly no progress at all, despite me trying my hardest. I am even afraid of relapse now after the last measurement. I read that other members were able to expand at a rate of 1mm/month with good oral posture.
I guess one problem might be that I just don´t have enough space sagitally for my tongue. Everytime I put my tongue on the roof of my mouth it folds in a slightly different shape than before so I never get it in the same position to exert continuous pressure on my palate. Since it´s so hard to do it also makes it impossible for mewing to become something I do subconsciously.
Unfortunately the orthodontists in my country (Germany) suck big time. To get my fixed retainer installed I went to 3 different ones with good ratings and asked them if there is any way to achieve a stable result without retainers and all of them said "you will probably experience relapse, nowadays we recommend even people who have a perfect occlusion to wear retainers after the age of 40 to preserve their bite". When I asked about proper oral posture one of them said "Don´t think about it, just relax jaw and tongue as much as possible".
Is it normal to have no increase in IMW when starting out? Maybe other bones need to shift first?
Can there be anything done to address my problems?
Has anyone else been in a similar situation and found a solution that worked?
I can put my teeth out of the deep bite position by jutting my lower jaw forward. My midline deviation also disappears doing that, but it gives me a posterior open bite in return. Should I continue keeping my molars together or jut my jaw forward?
1. Focus on the back of your tongue.
2. Keep your teeth together in what feels like a natural bite. Do not force your lower jaw forwards.
3. Do not worry about how your tongue is pressing up between your upper teeth.
4. Really push the back of your tongue up as much as you can. You should feel your throat lifting up and it may feel like you want to gag, but don't.
5. Focus on your swallow, with the back of your tongue lifted up high as I described.
6. Practice chin tucks with a good push swallow.
Doing this should help you to see some progress. 👍
you are 30 y.o... Don't expect too much, be realistic, but more importantly, positive
by the way
However, mind that this report doesn't aim to point out that braces don't work in anycase, but the fact that many dishonest orthodontists deceive parents, making them think that their children ABSOLUTELY need orthodontic treatment even if they don't have any significant, consistent problems. Or more likely they unnecessarily expatiate the treatment.
In both case, has been took over an unprofessional ethical conduct that put patients' health after profit, parasitizing insurance companies
I reccomend to stop looking at inter molar width. Look at photos. Focus on how 'compact' the face looks in comparisons.
Also, you need to be doing more chin tucking. A lot of people believe its acutally the tongue that changes the maxilla. It's not. Its the pressure from the bottom teeth (mandible) pressing upwards against the top teeth which are directly connected to the maxilla.
Just look at a skull to understand.
Thanks, I will focus more on chin-tucking and push swallow for the next months and try even harder. However I found this guide by TGW https://the-great-work.org/guide-to-proper-tongue-posture-mewing
He gives the following instructions:
"These steps are taken in order of importance:
- Put the tip of your tongue at Tip, where the middle of the top two incisors meet the gums. Keep the tip of the tongue locked here!
- Flatten out area behind the tip of your tongue against the Front Ridges. Keep this position locked.
- Push the middle and back of your tongue up against the Mid-Palate Ridge. Get as much of the back of your tongue up there as far back in your mouth as you can manage. Ideally, your tongue should be snugly pressed against the center line of your entire Hard Palate and even a little bit of the Soft Palate
- The outside edges of your tongue should either be fitting snugly along the Alveolar Ridge or otherwise pressing against it if there is not enough space. "
That seems to contradict the usual advice to keep the posterior tongue up at all costs.
I agree, there are probably millions of orthodontic treatments that could have been avoided if doctors told children to chew gum, eat hard food and keep good body posture.
Regarding my age, I see it that way: Either I can generate enough force through the tongue that the maxilla can grow/swing up, but then I don´t understand why progress should be limited? Or on the other hands the bones are already too rigid and won´t respond to tongue posture anymore, but then I would expect exactly 0 results.
The reason why I am keeping track of my dental casts and IMW so much is because improvement there would proof to me that progress is possible. I find that it´s easy to fool yourself by just looking at your face in the mirror because things like lighting/facial bloat, angles, etc can change so much from day to day.
If you have a vaulted and narrow palate, it can be difficult to follow TGW’s instructions perfectly. I’m not sure that the instructions necessarily contradict the posterior tongue importance except for maybe the “little bit of the soft palate” part. I prefer to get as much of the posterior tongue up as possible.
Since you are physically incapable of creating perfect tongue posture at the moment, I would focus primarily on the posterior tongue and a good push swallow. Learning how to swallow properly as children is what creates good tongue posture in the first place, so I believe the same holds true as an adult.
A few things to try…
1. Once you get the back of your tongue up as much as possible, with the tip of your tongue on the spot, try and inflate your tongue like a balloon. This means your tongue is expanding in all directions but primarily upwards. Do this with the back of your tongue locked in place.
2. When swallowing, suck the tip of your tongue onto the spot, feel the saliva traveling towards the back of your throat, and then push your tongue upwards to swallow. Don't worry if you feel your tongue squeezing between your teeth.
3. Every once in a while, look upwards, and then pull the back of your tongue up so that your throat visibly moves up as well, and hold it there. Then practice pulling your throat up and down learning to control the posterior tongue. When you bring your head back down into normal head posture, you should feel some improvement in your tongue posture.
I started with a very narrow and vaulted palate as well. I have no idea if my IMW has increased, but my tongue posture feels much more comfortable and my palate is a different shape. Some days are better than others, but I keep at it and continue to feel improvement. I’m in my 30’s.
True. But IMW won’t make your face forwards grown or upswing the maxilla. It will only make it wider which isn’t as important IMO. that’s why I suggested to not be so concerned with it! Also. If you can’t achieve any more IMW, then you have probably reached your genetic potential. Your mandible & maxilla can only stretch outwards so far, the more important thing is compressing it upwards. If you don’t achieve any more width, it doesn’t mean you can’t change your face.
Small update, the last 2 months my IMW has been 37.4mm and now 37.7mm. My intercanine width has increased 0.2-0.3mm as well over the past couple months. I can take fairly precise measurements with impressions and my caliper, so I believe it is real expansion. Also I felt some pressure at my nasion occasionally and I think it might have come forward a bit, which reduced my glabellar frown lines.
Small progress, but it motivates me a lot to keep going 🙂