The advent of social media platforms like TikTok has ushered in a new era of beauty trends, with one relatively recent and popular phenomenon being the practice of mewing. These facial exercises are purported to alter the jaw bone structure, gaining widespread attention through the work of Michael Mew. The term “mewing” has become a viral sensation on various social media platforms, capturing the fascination of individuals eager to enhance their facial features. Michael Mew’s contributions to popularizing this trend are highlighted in the Netflix documentary ‘Open Wide,’ where he delves into the origins of mewing and shares insights into his life leading up to his involvement in this beauty trend.
Michael Mew Took His Father’s Dream Forward
Michael Mew, a third-generation orthodontist, follows in the footsteps of his radical and influential father, John Mew. The latter is renowned for propounding the concept of “orthotropics,” which challenges conventional orthodontic practices. John Mew asserted that the conventional practices not only led to flattened faces but also posed potential health risks. Orthotropics is a holistic approach to facial growth guidance that emphasizes the importance of proper tongue posture, breathing, and facial muscle balance in achieving optimal facial development.
The central tenet of orthotropic is the repositioning of the skeletal structure to guide facial growth naturally, contrasting with traditional orthodontic methods that involve wiring teeth to force them into alignment. John Mew’s experimental approach extended to his children, with Michael, the second oldest, actively participating in these endeavors. Michael, deeply influenced by his father, sought to emulate John’s behavior and principles. Both his elder brother, Bill, and younger sister, Rosie, attested to Michael’s dedication in mirroring their father. Michael’s admiration for orthotropics and his passion for dentistry took root at a young age.
In 1993, he achieved qualification as a dentist at the Royal London Hospital. Subsequently, in 2004, Michael enrolled in the Orthodontic program at Aarhus University in Denmark, aspiring to become a specialist dentist. Reflecting on his educational journey, Michael expressed astonishment at the disparity between conventional teachings and the orthotropic principles he had observed while shadowing his father. He recognized orthotropics as a more effective technique for natural facial restructuring, laying the foundation for his advocacy in the field.
In 2014, Michael Mew assumed control of his father’s clinic, Orthodontic Health, located in London. Firmly committed to the principles of orthotropics, Michael recognized the need to challenge the existing orthodontic system to reach a wider audience. Adopting an unconventional approach, he began sharing random videos, leading to an invitation to speak at a conference. However, the turning point came when a video of his conference presentation surfaced on a web forum called Sl*tHate, associated with an incel (involuntary celibate) group.
Michael’s ideas, inherited from his father, gained viral traction, particularly his propositions involving constant gum chewing and jaw exercises, eventually coining the term “mewing” on TikTok. As the trend took off, Michael found himself invited as a guest to various conferences and lectures, gaining widespread popularity. Through his innovative work, he not only claimed cosmetic corrections but also asserted the alleviation of underlying health issues, such as sleep apnea.
Mike Mew is an Advocate for Orthotropics Today
Michael Mew expanded the scope of the clinic by incorporating a teaching and research component, establishing The London School of Facial Orthotropics. Despite these advancements, challenges arose for Mike Mew in 2022. He faced a misconduct hearing initiated by the General Dental Council (GDC). The methods in question involved the use of upper and lower mouth gears placed inside a person’s mouth, purportedly to address cranial dystrophy. The tribunal proceedings were instigated by reports from two patients, both children, who claimed to have undergone discomfort, deterioration in teeth structure, and the development of ulcers as a result of Mew’s treatment.
These allegations prompted a closer examination of Mew’s practices and raised concerns within the regulatory body. Amidst the legal challenges, another patient alleged experiencing seizures as a consequence of Michael Mew’s treatment. In a 2023 hearing, it was revealed that Mew had received £12,500 for a 36-month treatment plan. Determined to contest the charges, Mew enlisted the services of an expensive lawyer to champion his cause, aligning his defense with what he perceives as his father’s legacy.
Presently residing in London with his wife, Milla, and their two daughters, Jessica and Zarina, Mew has sought to instill the habits of extensive gum chewing and facial exercises in his children. Firm in his belief in orthotropics, he views the legal proceedings as propaganda hindering his mission to popularize orthotropics, echoing the intentions his father harbored for this unconventional approach to orthodontics. he is very active in his YouTube channel, Orthotropics, where he regularly interacts with his fans and keeps bringing them new tips and tricks to keep their face in shape.
Read More: John Mew: Where is the Orthodontist Now?