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, a British Orthodontist, who lost his license due to unsupported claims, refers to a set of oral and facial exercises proposed by Dr. John Mew, a British orthodontist. The technique is primarily focused on tongue posture and facial muscle exercises with the goal of achieving proper tongue posture and encouraging facial development. The term "Mewing" itself comes from Dr. Mew's last name.
The central idea behind Mewing is that maintaining the correct tongue posture, which involves placing the tongue against the roof of the mouth, can positively impact facial appearance and contribute to overall health. Advocates of Mewing claim that it can potentially lead to benefits such as improved facial symmetry, jawline definition, and even changes in the appearance of the nose over time. However, it's important to note 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 pronunciation difficulties.
May require complicated treatment to resolve issues caused from mewing
"While proper tongue posture plays a role in oral health and development, mewing oversimplifies the complexities of facial structure," emphasizes 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 relationship between tongue posture, facial development, and overall health is a complex and multifaceted topic. It's crucial to approach these ideas with caution and to recognize that the scientific evidence supporting mewing and its specific impact on dental health is not established. If you have concerns about your oral health, dental alignment, or facial development, it is recommended to consult with a qualified orthodontist. These professionals can provide personalized advice and guidance based on a thorough assessment of your specific situation.
Taking care of braces is essential to ensure that your orthodontic treatment is effective and that your teeth and gums remain healthy. Here are some tips on how to take care of braces:
Brushing: Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth after every meal and before bedtime. Brush gently but thoroughly, making sure to clean around the brackets and wires.
Interdental Brush: Consider using an interdental brush to clean between the wires and brackets.
Flossing: Floss daily using a floss threader or a special orthodontic floss designed for braces. This helps remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and under the wires.
Mouthwash: Rinse with an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash to help reduce bacteria and strengthen your teeth.
Avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods that can damage your braces. These include popcorn, nuts, hard candies, chewing gum, and sticky candies.
Cut fruits and vegetables into small, manageable pieces to prevent damaging your braces.
Keep orthodontic wax on hand to cover any sharp or irritating edges of your braces. This can help prevent sores and discomfort in your mouth.
Regular Orthodontic Appointments:
Attend all scheduled appointments with your orthodontist for adjustments and check-ups. These appointments are crucial for the success of your treatment.
If you play contact sports or grind your teeth at night, consider using a mouthguard to protect your braces and teeth from injury.
Avoid Bad Habits:
Avoid habits like nail biting, chewing on pens, or chewing on ice, as they can damage your braces.
It's common to experience some discomfort or soreness when braces are first put on or after adjustments. Over-the-counter pain relievers and orthodontic wax can help manage this discomfort.
Drink plenty of water to help prevent dry mouth and maintain oral health.
Maintain Good Habits:
Be consistent with your oral care routine and follow your orthodontist's instructions. Compliance with wearing rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances is crucial for the success of your treatment.
In case of a broken bracket, wire, or any other issues, contact your orthodontist immediately for guidance and repairs.
Remember that proper care of your braces not only ensures a successful orthodontic outcome but also promotes good overall oral hygiene. Neglecting your braces can lead to complications and prolong the treatment process. If you have any concerns or questions about caring for your braces, don't hesitate to ask your orthodontist for guidance.
Putting on and taking off braces refers to the process of orthodontic treatment, which is commonly used to straighten and align teeth. Here's an overview of how this process works:
Putting on Braces:
Consultation: The orthodontic treatment begins with a consultation with an orthodontist. During this appointment, the orthodontist will examine your teeth, take X-rays, and create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Preparing the Teeth: Before braces can be applied, your teeth need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Your orthodontist may also apply a special conditioner to the teeth to help the adhesive bond better.
Applying Brackets: Small metal or ceramic brackets are attached to the front surface of each tooth using a dental adhesive. These brackets serve as anchors for the wires that will guide your teeth into their desired positions. In some cases, clear aligners are used instead of traditional braces, and these are custom-made to fit over your teeth.
Wires and Bands: After the brackets are in place, archwires are threaded through them. The archwires apply gentle pressure on the teeth, gradually moving them into the desired alignment. Rubber bands may also be used to help with specific tooth movements.
Adjustments: You will need regular appointments with your orthodontist for adjustments. During these appointments, the orthodontist may tighten the wires or make other modifications to ensure your teeth are moving as planned.
Taking off Braces:
Assessment: When your teeth have moved into their desired positions and the orthodontist determines that treatment is complete, it's time to remove the braces. Before doing so, the orthodontist will assess your teeth to ensure they are properly aligned.
Brace Removal: The orthodontist will use special tools to carefully remove the brackets and bands from your teeth. This process is usually painless, but there may be some pressure or discomfort.
Cleaning: Once the braces are removed, your orthodontist will clean any residual adhesive from your teeth. This may involve scraping and polishing your teeth to remove any remaining glue.
Retainers: In most cases, after the braces are removed, you will be given retainers. Retainers help to maintain the new position of your teeth and prevent them from shifting back. There are different types of retainers, including removable and fixed ones.
Follow-up Appointments: You'll have follow-up appointments with your orthodontist to monitor the progress of your teeth with the retainers and make any necessary adjustments.
The process of putting on and taking off braces can take several months to a few years, depending on the complexity of your orthodontic issues. It's essential to follow your orthodontist's instructions carefully during this time to achieve the best results and maintain your oral health.
Holt Orthodontics is committed to making a healthy and beautiful smile affordable to all. We offer any types of payment plans individually tailored to you. The affordability of braces can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of braces you choose, your dental insurance coverage, and the severity of your orthodontic issues. Here are some considerations:
Type of Braces:
Traditional metal braces: These are often the most affordable option and are widely used.
Ceramic braces: These are less visible than metal braces but may be more expensive.
Invisalign or clear aligners: Invisalign tends to be more expensive than traditional braces but offers greater comfort and discretion.
The complexity of your orthodontic needs can affect the cost. More severe alignment issues may require longer treatment, which can be more expensive.
Dental insurance plans often cover a portion of orthodontic treatment, which can make braces more affordable. However, the extent of coverage and specific terms can vary widely among plans.
Holt Orthodontics offers flexible payment plans with 0% interest to help make braces more affordable. These plans can spread the cost over time.
Discounts and Promotions:
Some orthodontic offices may offer discounts or promotions, especially for new patients or families with multiple members receiving treatment.
It's essential to consult with Holt Orthodontics for a comprehensive evaluation and cost estimate tailored to your specific needs. They can provide you with a treatment plan and discuss financing options, including any available discounts or insurance coverage.
Keep in mind that the affordability of braces is relative, and what is affordable for one person or family may not be the same for another. It's crucial to consider your budget and options to make an informed decision about orthodontic treatment.