Techniques you can learn for proper swallowing pattern that will give you hollow cheeks & lead to facial beauty. You can get ride of tongue thrust & chubby cheeks. Begin to raise the posterior tongue higher in the palate leading to more ideal oral posture.
New walk through tongue training video by Dr. Mike Mew. (DIY Oral Myology)
Click “Read More” for part 2… & my experience with it.
We all need negative pressure / suction to swallow, the correct adult swallower accomplishes this by keeping the teeth together and the tongue pressing against the upper palate to create the seal. The tongue will do a wave motion across the palate. Which puts widening, forward, & upwards force on maxilla beneficial for facial development.
If you try to swallow food with teeth together and it feels uncomfortable for you, then you most likely have some form of incorrect swallow.
During the incorrect swallow the teeth is held slightly apart with tongue placed between them, because the seal is inadequate, the lips, cheeks, & chin muscles are used as compensation which suck against the dentition. This is putting constrictive forces on the face and palate.
It is estimated close to 90% of population have some form of incorrect swallow.
(the likely cause is known to be early weaning of baby with puree food that can be suckled down like feeding on mother’s breast which uses facial muscle & introducing it too early before they are ready to learn. The child fails to transition to adult swallow, & continue to keep some of the infantile suckling pattern all the way into adulthood)
I have observed even fine looking individuals that still have some slight lip parsing during swallows.
It is estimated we swallow 2,000 times per day, these improper forces or lack of correct forces add up to affect facial form.
The Buccinator Ring
There’s a whole band of muscle titled the Buccinator Ring which includes your lips & cheeks that become overdeveloped as a result of incorrect swallowing which show as bulges in the face. This results in collapsed dental arch, and it will make expansion during orthodontic treatment much more difficult. One orthodontist back in the day was convinced this muscle was the cause of malocclusion and was crazy enough to cut this muscle in some of his patients. (of course the muscle is not at fault, but the incorrect use of it)
Using cheeks to swallow also cause chubby cheeks from its overdevelopment. This is why babies have chubby cheeks. When correct teeth together, tongue-to-palate swallow becomes the norm, the cheeks begin to hollow out as the muscle dystrophy from disuse. I am feeling and seeing this as of late, When I touch my cheeks they feel noticeably thinner.
The fact: When you observe good looking people swallow they keep their lips, cheeks, & chin completely still. And only the throat moves.
The stereotypical image is the petite, upper class lady with attractive face & fancy dress swallowing as if they didn’t swallow at all, very passively and politely.
Now the opposite image is someone that swallows with all kinds of movement seen in the face, & possibly even head jerking, seeming animalistic. The image would be of less attractive people.
Unbalanced muscular patterns leads to unbalanced facial form.
Hollowing of cheeks as a result of correction in swallowing pattern.
Ingrained patterns takes dedication to overwrite. These video exercises by Mike Mew is the best I have found for this process of unlearning & relearning. It was taught to me personally few months back and I noticed a breakthrough, just this past week he has decided to make these new teachings public.
Pay special attention to the push swallow in part2.
Quick Recap of Push Swallow
You create awareness for the back of the tongue by using the cheesy swallow.
Then with teeth together, lips sealed and face completely passive, you raise the tongue to the roof with the tip on the incisive papilla (bump right behind the 2 upper front teeth) and you swallow your saliva.
While keeping the tongue on the roof, suck up rest of the moisture from your mouth and bring it to the roof of the mouth, this should happen pretty naturally when you simply intend for it. The tip should still remain on the incisive papilla, or partially. But you should feel your tongue roll around and make some strange movements as you suck up.
Your mouth will be getting dryer and you will feel a vacuum effect taking place inside.
The lips will feel more sealed and feel sucked in.
And with this vacuum you’re to notice that the back of the tongue is raising and now ramming up on the upper palate, the feeling you noticed from cheesy smile should be intensified.
Now try to hold this position, with the vacuum you should begin to feel more of your tongue on the palate and be able to exert more force on the soft palate.
This is the one exercise I repeat most often. It began to correct my swallowing pattern and greatly improve my tongue posture and lip seal.
The more you do, more often the tongue is up there. The goal is constantly leave little bit of upwards force.
After learning tongue push practice…
1 month after, my orthodontist assistant took notice of facial changes taking place.
After 2 month, she noticed even more changes at which point she made a comment on it and asked if I had gotten better with tongue posture.
The beauty of this practice is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. My favorite times as Mike suggested is in the car, with head rest up high, forcing upright head posture with chin tuck and doing the push swallow.
You will be surprised the amount of upwards force you can begin to exert at the back of your mouth and the longer duration you’re able to keep up with the vacuum which also act as reminder to always have these feelings in side the mouth, seemingly inside your throat for most of you that had good bit of vertical growth.
& I am sure it is a quite new feeling most have not felt before. At least to this extent in strength or duration.
You also notice your cheeks suck in little bit after they become more thin, this could explain what’s causing good looking people to really have those hollow cheeks that are almost depressed in. Perhaps not only because the buccinator ring is thin from disuse but they have great tongue posture causing the vacuum to suck in the cheeks and lips. I am confirming this is also the natural way for great lip seal, no need for lip muscles.
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