In this episode, I am speaking with orthodontist, Dr. Mike Mew, about his brilliant (and extremely unconventional) take on why improperly formed faces and jaws are now the norm, and how it leads to not only crooked teeth, but a host of other problems like poorly formed airways which can contribute to sleep problems and fatigue issues (and ultimately can shave years or decades off your life). He’ll also tell us the keys to fixing these problems.
Table of Contents
In this podcast, Dr. Mew talks about:
- Why we get crooked teeth and poorly developed facial structure – and why the orthodontistry profession doesn’t want to discuss the causes of the problems they treat.
- How braces to correct crooked teeth might be totally unnecessary if we address the root causes early in children’s development
- Which lifestyle habits kept our ancient ancestors teeth in perfect health and natural alignment
- How an attractive, developed jawline is really down to one simple thing that most of us don’t do.
- Why breathing through your mouth may disrupt your posture, sleep and facial development (and how tongue position dictates everything).
- What kind of treatment does Dr. Mew recommend – and which should you avoid at all costs.
- Why crooked teeth are the least of your worries, and why poorly formed faces/jaws cause far worse problems.
- Simple, new habits that might change your whole development – the earlier the better!
Listen or download on iTunes
Listen outside iTunes
Ari: Hello. This is Ari. Welcome back to The Energy Blueprint Podcast. Today’s guest is Dr. Mike Mew, who is, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant dentist/orthodontist in the world. He is one of very, very few who is looking at dental and orthodontic issues from an evolutionary perspective, and really answering the questions of why do we have crooked teeth, and very much related to that is why we have malformed faces and jaws.
As a result of those skeletal structure abnormalities, which we’re going to discuss the reasons why that happens, or he’s going to tell us about the reasons why that happens, why we have breathing airway abnormalities, breathing issues. As a result of those kinds of issues, which are beyond just purely cosmetic or aesthetic concerns around how straighter my teeth sort of thing.
These kinds of airway malformations and breathing issues result in sleep issues, sleep apnea, and can literally shave or frequently shave years, or more maybe even decades off of your life, because of these kinds of issues that are so widespread that ultimately relate to what he’s going to be talking about in this issue, which is the same reason why people have crooked teeth, is really the same reason for malformed or not fully properly developed faces and jaw structures and airway structures. This is truly, in my opinion, one of the most fascinating and underappreciated health topics out there that has a huge impact on our life that most people are just unaware of.
I think you’re going to learn a lot from this episode, and on a personal level, I can also say this is, for me, one of the most entertaining conversations I’ve ever had, maybe in my life with anyone, but he’s just a really fun, interesting, eloquent articulate guy and very charming guy. I think you’ll really appreciate the information that you glean from this episode, I know that I personally do. With all of that said, enjoy the episode with Dr. Mike Mew.
Welcome, Dr Mew. Thank you so much for joining us. It’s a real pleasure to have you. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.
Dr. Mike Mew: Thank you very much.
Ari: I want to start off by briefly talking about the fact that this is a family enterprise for you. You’re in the family business as a–
Dr. Mew: Yes. In a way, I often describe myself as my father’s plan B. [chuckles]
Ari: What do you mean by that?
Dr. Mew: Well, he’s running out of time. He wanted to change the world of orthodontics. He came out with some bright ideas. He thought these ideas would work because he’s naive. He thought that when you told people the truth, they’ll listen, they’ll discuss it with you, they’ll think this is the way forward, and they’ll do it. What I do, and the method of treatment I do, doesn’t make money. It’s difficult and requires changing individuals. You go back 30, 40 years when he started doing this with the real era of doctor knows best. It was the era of medicine’s going to fix you and trust in science.
Now, I think this is changing. I think you and your show will appeal to all of those people who have given up on that concept. What I saw, I saw this wonderful postcard of an image, a cartoon while ago, and it had two receptions in your “hole in the wall” type reception. Above one was gaining change to cure the problem. There was a cure of one person. Above the other was quick fix using pills and potions with significant side effects.
Ari: I’ve seen that.
Dr. Mew: There was a cure as long as your arm. That sums it up. In a way, the people following your podcasts will already realize that if they’re going to make themselves better, they are going to have to do some work and effort to make themselves better. Whereas all those other medicines, “Doctor make me better. Here’s the money. Make me better, but I don’t want to do any hard work to do that.”
Ari: Explain to me, there’s a ton of parallels in what you’re saying. It’s very obvious to me, as far as what my work is. I don’t offer drug solutions. I offer nutrition and lifestyle-based solutions. There’s obvious parallels, I think, with what’s going on in the world right now with the pandemic that we won’t get into that lest we be censored.
Dr. Mew: I’m not allowed to talk about that.
The biggest problems in the world of dentistry
Ari: As far as the dental world, and forgive me if I’m using the wrong terminology, I know you have the word orthotropics, which is something that we’re going to talk about. Within the world of dentistry and orthodontics, how would you see that playing out? What is wrong with the world of conventional dentistry and orthodontics? What do they have wrong? What kinds of things are they implementing that are ultimately counterproductive?
Dr. Mew: They have come to a very simple answer. Teeth are crooked, let’s make them straight. That’s it. There’s nothing beyond that. That is orthodontics. You wanted to break orthodontic into a nutshell, that’s it. Teeth are crooked, we know we can make them straight with various devices. This is the science behind which we make teeth straight. We know the teeth are never going to stay there, so we have to use retainers for the rest of someone’s life. It looked pretty, so who cares? That is the summation of modern orthodontics. We have a problem. We know how to fix it. Let’s do it.
No one spent a little bit longer, that in-depth, the long version of, “Really what’s happening?” Because there’s so much we lack. I went, because I knew that I’d be in this type of– I predict I could see what was happening with my father and I thought, I need a proper orthodontic qualification. We live in a credentialist society. I needed to be on the specialist list. I needed to be able to stand up and say, I’m an orthodontist. I made certain I went to Denmark to get– I decided I didn’t want to go to the UK to do my qualification. It’s painful. I just didn’t really want that hassle.
The next best option was go to what’s considered one of the top five universities in the world. For growth and development, probably the top university in the world. It was in Denmark. The big missing thing was the why, why are teeth crooked? It wasn’t in the books. We didn’t have electronic. When you do work it out, all the books do is say, “We’ve got these theories, we’ve got these theories.” That’s it. No, they’re not discussing the theories. They’re not going, “What’s happening?” It’s as if they just pay lip service, excuse the pun, to the problem, and then move on to treatment, because we all want to get into the treatment.
Whenever I give a lecture and I go through a philosophical concept, everyone’s, “Show me the appliance. I want to see the thing so that I can go home and I can do this, and I can put the widget in someone’s mouth,” and if widget plus X, Y, and Z, is going to cause an outcome of X. This is the whole concept within the thinking, is widget this type of malocclusion, this type of outcome? What’s the statistical analysis on this? What’s the likely outcomes? What are the risks? It’s very much along this mentality. Of course, when off the concept of let’s fix it, it assumes a genetic etiology.
You’ve made the assumption that the teeth are crooked genetically, because you’re going to make it right. If someone’s got red hair and you want to turn their hair blue, you’re saying, “Genetically they’re red. We would want to make their hair blue, we’re going to have a process, a treatment for the hair to make that hair blue.” That is the orthodontic thinking, and that’s based on a phenotypical expression. The phenotypical expression is that something is redheaded. If you’re going to change phenotypical expression, you’ve got to do some type of activity, some type of treatment, whether that’s surgical, whether it’s mechanical, whether it’s drug-based.
However you do that thing you’re going to do, it’s going to rely on the fact that you can’t change someone’s phenotype, because it’s genetic. Whereas if you believe it’s due to the environment, our lifestyles, then you’re going to have a completely different way of approaching this whole problem. A fundamental chalk and cheese different approach because you change a lifestyle. You then look for the causes. What I noticed in my training in Denmark was there was no discussion really on the cause. Of course, then if you were going to discuss the cause, the next thing on you would start doing is epidemiology.
Whatever your opinion on the current COVID situation, we all are becoming very familiar with epidemiology. We understand the power of epidemiology. You think, all right where’s the virus starting? Which groups are getting it? How did you catch that virus? Did you come into contact? That’s epidemiology, the detective work of working out what’s going on. Of course, then you put together a pathology. If you have a genetic ideology, you don’t need a pathology, because it just happens. Then you want to cure. Of course, people are being asked to have retention for the rest of their lives.
I’ve been fascinated with the the wording, what we call the narrative, and how that narrative has changed over the last 10 years or 20 years towards this, you need a retainer for life. People are calling them pajamas for life because that dresses it up nicely. I remember the British Orthodontic Society having a campaign called Hold that Smile and in that #HoldthatSmile was the campaign they had because you need to hold your smile afterwards.
In my book, if something’s not stable afterwards, you’ve not done a decent job. If I have my roof repaired because it’s leaking, I don’t expect to put a tarpaulin there every night. If the guy fixes it and says, “It looks great, doesn’t it, but you need to put a tarpaulin on every night.” Why? “To stop the water coming in.” Didn’t I just pay you for fixing it? Crooked teeth is the last of our real problems because I’m seeing this, and this is as I take a deeper and deeper dive into what’s going on. I’m not the only one. There’s a lot of people, and I mean a lot of people saying this at the moment.
They’re saying that basically, crooked teeth are a symptom of faces that haven’t developed properly. This is where I go from becoming an orthodontist to becoming a– I don’t know what this is going to be. I think this is a new science we’re developing here really. Basically, if your face is not the right shape, it ain’t going to work properly. Simple. What jobs does the face do? Well, we’ve got all these kids with glue air and needing what we call grommets. I don’t know what you call them in the US, but little tubes put in the air drum. Why?
Ari: To drain ear wax?
Dr. Mew: Yes. To drain ear wax, but why are they getting these problems, because deviated nasal septum, sinusitis, adenoids and tonsils need to be removed. What’s going on? Because if you go to an otolaryngologist, or ENT surgeon as we call them, and you start asking them these questions, why, as a general rule, they don’t have the whys. They are in a very similar position to orthodontists.
There’s no etiology, there’s no epidemiology, there’s no pathology, hell of a lot of cures, and not enough treatments, but no cure. Usually, with all of those things, they go, “You’ll probably grow after.” Great. I remember hearing that tenant of medicine, placate the patient till they get better. That’s the art of medicine. Really, I was here to make people better. I’m just placating them while they get better, then I’m not needed, thank you.
Ari: Let me ask you this. Let’s be direct about explaining this because I get what you’re referring to and what you’re alluding to in some of what you just said, but there may be people listening to this that don’t quite know this.
Dr. Mew: Tip of the iceberg situation here. Go on.
How the jaw structures have changed through generations
Ari: Yes. Let me just present an analogy for people listening. When it comes to, let’s say, heart disease or obesity, or diabetes, one thing that we can do to sort out the epidemiology of this, the etiology, is as far as people have heard of, there’s an obesity gene, and diabetes is genetic, heart disease is genetic. One really good way we can discern to what degree these things are genetic is we can take a naturalistic or evolutionary view and we can go look at hunter-gatherer tribes or people living in traditional ways. We don’t have to do archeological digs.
There are still hunter-gatherer tribes that exist in the world today in places like South America in Africa and in other places or traditional lifestyles in the south Pacific, the [unintelligible 00:14:37] people like that. You can go look at those populations and assess, do people living in traditional ways have the same degree of heart disease and obesity, and diabetes that we have here in the West in modern America and Europe? If they do, then we know these things are genetic. If they don’t, and we know that obesity rates, diabetes rates are dramatically increasing in the last few decades, even within America, then we know it is decidedly not genetic.
While there’s always some genetic component of susceptibility to something, these things are lifestyle-driven. When it comes to crooked teeth and facial structure, I think most people are not used to thinking in these kinds of terms. What is the reality from this perspective? What happens if we go look at traditional-living peoples and hunter-gatherers? What do their teeth and facial structure look like?
Dr. Mew: I couldn’t tell you if someone had type two diabetes or if they had sleep apnea in the past. I’ve got no idea. We really don’t know that. We can go and look at these traditional tribes and that’s one way of doing it, but, of course, we’ve got an extra advantage here. I can go and look at their teeth because we’re still gone
Ari: That’s right. That’s true.
Dr. Mew: I’ll go in the British museums and they’re lined up. We’re not just looking at ancestral people. We’re not looking just at people living ancestral lifestyles and having a look. I can go to the museums and I can actually pick up the skull of someone’s ancestor, and maybe even mine, who knows, or yours, who knows. I can pick them up and have a look but they’re there. It’s blatantly obvious.
Ari: That’s a nice advantage as compared with looking at obesity rate or cancer rates.
Dr. Mew: One of the reasons why I think it’s this subject is going to puncture the bubble. I think it’s this subject is going to go, it’s just there’s so many reasons that this is the one that’s going to change medicine. This is the one that’s going to move forward because we’ve got so much. It’s not a little bit of evidence. We’ve not got one or two tribes. You have got it stacked, piled high and deep really. The evidence, it’s damning. I could quite easily say the vast weight of quality research in respected peer-review journals is clear, it’s clear-cut. There’s no question.
I did about a six-year letter-writing campaign in the UK and I wrote to everyone. I was a proper little pain in the bottom. I’d just say right to them all. I said, “Look, order is openly admitted by my profession, my speciality, that they have no idea what causes crooked teeth.” Remember in the UK, we’ve got public health funding for orthodontics. The state is paying to have a procedure that is clearly not evidence-based. After my six-year letter-writing campaign, and I wrote to everyone, no one was interested. I wrote to everyone. Ministers of health, departmental heads, professors, you name it.
I was proper pain in the ass. I’ve got a wedge of letters from government, from members of parliament, even had a question asked in the House of Lords, which is your equivalent of the Senate. No one’s interested. Yet I’m saying, “Hang around. We’re spending more, we the government, not individual parents. They’re discretionary cash do with what you want. I can’t stop you, but here’s the government paying for it.” It didn’t fly. That’s sitting in the records. That information is going to come out, particularly since I’m now the accused.
Ari: Let’s get a couple of things–
Dr. Mew: Only we can come to that. We don’t need to. I just wanted to mention slightly hunter-gatherers, because what does fascinate me with hunter-gatherers is that– Let’s wind back a little bit. If you someone walking off the African Serengeti, the Australian Outback, some Solomon Island, what you notice is they stand up beautifully straight with fantastic physical form. They also have great bone structure. The facial bone structure, beautiful. Beautiful to look at. Of course, with the correct bone structure, you can fit all the teeth in. They all have these big, broad smiles. Never seen an orthodontist. Don’t wear retainers at night for the rest of their lives.
They have space for all 32 teeth, usually with a centimeter or more behind the wisdom tooth. Now, that equates to a lot of tongue volume. These guys are not going to get sleep apnea. Anyway, what’s interesting is they look more like your ancestors than you do. They look just like that ancestral material we got, except of course they actually, or I would say almost 50% towards way where we are now, because you only need a knife and then you go– Let’s say, without a knife, how do you cut your food?
Ari: With your mouth.
Dr. Mew: You have to go sideways with your incisors. If you had to do that for every single mouthful of food, and you had some pretty tough food, which they did, then you’re going to wear your front teeth flat. They didn’t have this type of– Like I’ve got, top teeth overlapping the bottom teeth. That isn’t how they were. They wore their teeth down till they have a gap and that was normal for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of years.
This deep time, that just makes absolute no sense to us. I was working it out the other day of how the last 10 minutes of the day, if you did it for a year or something crazy that we ever have the teeth like this, or have had any levels of malocclusion or anything. It’s a crazy statistic if you work it out from the part of a year. Our ancestors didn’t have it. There’s been lots of really good quality work, mainly by anthropologists and archeologists, who to them, it’s obvious. You can make a nice line like that.
The more the trinkets and complexity of graves, the more the malocclusion. Makes a nice little line. They’ve known this for years. It is in their textbooks. They don’t question it. It’s only within orthodontics where malocclusion has to be genetic to satisfy current practice. Of course, I could think of multiple, multiple, multiple DNA sequencing machines that have been running 24/7 for several decades. They’ve come up with– They’re still going, and they ain’t going to have a debate with me.
Ari: They’ve come up with, for people listening, they’ve come up with zero evidence to support their genetic etiology of crooked teeth.
Dr. Mew: Sorry, that was my symbol for zero. Yes. No evidence, nothing. They’ve gone. It is this vain hope if they just completely blindside anyone who’s asking difficult questions. There is a complete us and them within the orthodontic profession. I’ve never, ever had a meaningful in-depth conversation about orthodontics with any orthodontist really of note, ever. Just some light conversations with people where I’ve let it go because very quickly the visor comes down and they don’t want to say anything.
Ari: Let’s tie this up with a little bow on it for people. Basically, what you are saying is that crooked teeth, we’ve all accepted this to be our normal, and that it just arises for random or genetic reasons, and that we need orthodontics, we need braces and other devices, retainers, and things like that to straighten our teeth. That’s what conventional dental and orthodontic approaches are.
What you’re saying is that from a naturalistic or evolutionary point of view, we can look at our ancestors, realize that they didn’t have these problems. They had straight teeth and proper facial and jaw development so that the teeth come in straight. We need to look at what those factors were, what are the differences between what they were doing and what we’re doing that are causing us to have crooked teeth when they didn’t.
Dr. Mew: Then we take the causes, because that’s what we do in medicine.
Ari: With that said, what specifically, and I know you you’ve alluded to this a bit, but what specifically, if you were going to list out what those differences are, what does that look like?
Dr. Mew: There’s two principle ones and then a third runner-up, to get straight to the point. The two principles ones is we’ve gone from having this incredibly tough, rough, hard diet to this incredibly soft diet. That is the most important one. You could see how much our ancestors wore their teeth down. In a cup-like this, I could probably get a quarter of your daily calorific intakes. I’ve got a large cup. In my large cup that I use, I could probably make a lovely cafe mocha, some hot chocolate or coffee with some cream, some sugar, some syrups. I could wrap that up to what, do you think we get 750 calories in a cup?
Dr. Mew: Probably I could try. How much chewing do you need to do to get that 750 calories?
Dr. Mew: Nothing. All right. Now go back 10,000 years. How much chewing did they have to do to get this 750 calories?
Ari: Apart from when they were harvesting honey, which they had to work hard for, they’d do a lot in general. The exception to the rule.
Dr. Mew: Yes, and that had some rarity. That’s a real rarity. As a general rule, actually, if you were to kill, and you had uncooked flesh that’s relatively soft and fat, that’s great when you have a kill. What about months later when you have been less lucky and you’re now eating the bits of leather that you dried from the last kill? That’s tough-going. I met a couple of anthropologists who just said one of them was invited to the chief, and the chief announced that they would be getting the best meat. They killed something and they would be getting the best meat in the town.
He couldn’t eat it. He said he realized that the importance having even been told clearly that this was the best meat. He said his jaws go into a sort of, “I think I’ve got to eat this meat. It’s an insult if I don’t.” Couldn’t do it, couldn’t eat this meat. That’s one thing. We’ve gone from these really– Look at my muscles. I’ve got famously large muscles and I’ve got a famously strong jaw. Strong muscles, strong jaw, that’s connected. If you know Wolff’s law, that’s Wolff’s law. Simple, it’s use it or lose it, isn’t it ? If I’ve got a strong jaw, that strong jaw’s a big jaw. A big jaw has more space for teeth and your airway of course. How do you get strong jaw muscles?
Dr. Mew: You chew. This is not rocket science. Now the other big factor, the next factor down the line is a posture. What’s happening very frequently is people are getting blocked noses. Apparently instances of blocked noses is going up exponentially. Not exactly my area, but we know it is.
How breathing impacts your teeth
Ari: If I can interject one thing as you’re talking about this, for people listening, there’s a lot of people with chronic fatigue. We know from research, particularly on chronic fatigue syndrome, that sleep disorders, sleep apnea, and airway restrictions are incredibly common among people with chronic fatigue. For people listening, I just want to interject that.
Dr. Mew: Yes, I’ve been working on that.
Ari: Cool but sorry, I just wanted to–
Dr. Mew: If you want to cover that, we can go into that because that fascinates me. A couple of people with chronic fatigue, who seem to have miraculously got better with drinking the water in my clinic. We can cover that one.
Ari: Interesting. We’ll get there, we’ll pin that.
Dr. Mew: The next one is this nasality. If you can’t breathe out of your nose, what are you going to do?
Ari: Breathe through your mouth.
Dr. Mew: You become a mouth breather, maybe just temporarily. The first few times, I’m sure that’s what happened temporarily. You lose the tongue to palate contact [clicks tongue], and you lose your lip to lip [smacks lips] contact. I think those are two really important, ingrained. Your lips are a sphincter and we know how important it is to keep control of all of our sphincters. If we’ve lost sphincter control here, I think that’s causing you big problems. I think the tongue to palate contact is another sphincter type, very important contact sphincter.
I haven’t yet defined it. It’s all new area. Now, few people ever regain tongue to palate contact. Very rare to retain tongue to palate contact. Some most people later in life regain lip contact, lip seal. I think it’s because there’s deep pressure to conform when I see people in their later teens, gaining lip, regaining lip contact clearly after the horse is bolted, after the finished growing. If you hang your mouth open with your tongue down, and you have weak muscles, your face is going to length them. Have you seen someone who’s had a stroke? Most strokes are just the surface muscles, remember. That’s not the proper biting muscles.
I’ve seen somebody who’s had a road traffic accident, they’ve cut the proper biting muscle nerve, and their faces just drop like a stone. It’s amazing what will happen. In fact, any volunteers, we’re willing to perform this experiment. I promise you every single time, very quickly and very reproducibly, the face will drop. We know that happens. There’s no question about that. That’s a really well-tested hypothesis. As your face lengthens, the cross-sectional-area reduces because you only have so much face. As the cross-sectional area reduces, you get crooked teeth, lack of space for the teeth. You also get lack of space for the airway.
Then clearly you need to do– Your mouth is a really important part of your body. As you lose cross-sectional area, you’ve still got to talk, eat, chew, speak, breathe, all of these different– Whatever you need to do with the face, you’ve still got to work. I think what’s happening is you move your tongue to function and rest in a new position. There are only so many places you can leave your tongue. That accounts for the different patterns of crooked teeth that we see. There may be some genetic predisposition to where you’re going to leave your tongue, but malocclusion just can’t be genetic.
The cause can’t be, it doesn’t fit with any of the facts. It can be secondary, so it can direct what type of malocclusion you get. What we’re looking really here is a distortion of the face. The controversial thing about what I’m saying here, is I’m saying that everyone in a modern society has got a deformed face. It’s not a maybe, it’s a certainty, and it’s very well corroborated. Go and look at all those ancestral skulls. They’re there to see, anyone go and have a look. Almost down to 99.9% of everyone watching this podcast is deformed. You have not achieved your full genetic potential. For a lot of you, that’s causing problems. A lot of you.
You may not be aware of the pathology of all of those problems, why those problems you have are related to this, but it almost certainly is. We are on cover, we call this craniofacial dystrophy. The craniofacial area, it’s incorrect growth. Dis, incorrect; trophy, growth. It’s a good description. If we wanted to go onto that third factor, that third factor seems to be the early introduction of soft food. There were a distinct lack of blenders 10,000 years ago. Food you gave to babies was tough. You would breastfeed for two to three years, that’s not really happening. That experience of getting into the first eating is very, very different. That pathway seems to have been disturbed as well.
I’m sure that’s not useful. A lack of breastfeeding and the lack of– Funny enough, there’s a whole thing called baby-led weaning, has been developed for other reasons, but it matches completely with my thoughts and ideas. I’ve got good relationships with the author of the baby-led weaning concept, Joe Rackley. We’re singing from the same hidden sheet, but from different angles. When you see a lot of people doing that, then it really makes you feel, “We might be under something.” In a nutshell, that’s causing the problems. It’s elongating the face, reduction of the cross-sectional area, but a face that’s not the right shape, doesn’t work properly.
Why people aren’t making dental health a priority
Ari: Got it. I have a question I’d like you to answer succinctly because I want to get into practical strategies but I think it’s important to ask this. You mentioned you were a pain in the butt, you were sending these letters out, you were trying to let people know, have these discussions–
Dr. Mew: This wasn’t a general public awareness. This was just to important people to see if I can get them to react.
Ari: Okay. You’ve been talking now for a few years about some of these issues, or several years, maybe more than a few. Why are people not paying attention to this? Why is this information not being talked about more widely, or why is it being suppressed, if you would say, if it’s not too far to say that?
Dr. Mew: That’s medicine. We all know that. You’ve got–
Ari: Some people don’t know that. There are people who don’t, I think, quite get that.
Dr. Mew: Yes. Medicine’s a very conservative area, it doesn’t change on one of my agreements to myself, a promise to myself to turn on a decimal point. If I see a statistically significant outcome, I need to change tomorrow. Any patient’s about to start treatment, put them on hold, change, because you’ve got to do that. That’s part of your oath to follow the scientific process.
Most people, you think that if you’ve got a clinic, you’ve spent years qualifying to get the qualifications to have that clinic, then you’ve borrowed money to have the clinic, that clinic’s making all your money. You’ve spent your lifetime getting up running, you’ve got protocols, you’ve got a whole system, you’ve got people employed with specific tasks. All of a sudden, some English yob turns up and wants to kick his boot into your system, and ask you to change completely. Then suggesting you do the system that really doesn’t make much money. Hang on, your reason you went into orthodontics, because it was where the cash was.
You took huge loans to get through that. Are you going to change? No. Also this isn’t a small change. This isn’t a, “Can I get your widget instead of the widget I was using before? Let’s upgrade one of your widgets.” You can’t do that. What I said, when we discussed the etiology, it was the muscles and your mouth posture, and also standing up. Really the whole of my thesis could be boiled down to stand up straight and shut your mouth.
Hardly a new idea really.
Ari: But a new twist on the whole idea.
Dr. Mew: One of our exercises, one of our top exercises, and this– Pay attention because there’s more into this than it immediately meets the eye. We know that if we ask you to do a brisk 10-minute walk every day, it dramatically reduces your chance of cardiovascular problems such as a heart attack. Good statistics on that. Proper difference it makes. If I could get kids from a really young age to do 30 to 40 minute exercise, if not more, it would have a profound effect. A really profound effect. We’re talking about the mouth. A good time to exercise the mouth is during meal times.
We’ve got this super secret exercise. You can’t tell the world about this one. It is sit up straight, elbows off the table, eat with your mouth shut, chew your food properly, food to you, not you to your food, try and keep your arms beside yourself, not sticking out, and chin tuck when you swallow. Now, apart from that chin tuck when you swallow, that’s not actually a very secret idea. In fact, I’d go to almost the opposite ends of the sec spectrum to say that’s one of the least secret ideas on the planet.
When I do consultations and I ask people, every single person from every single culture that has ever come into my clinic has that exercise in their collective historical cultural memory. Every single one. That’s crazy because our ancestors separated around the world long, long before we were sitting at tables and chairs. There’s either that magic, or there’s a distinct reason that every culture has come to the same conclusion. Anyway, it’s a great exercise. My treatment, though please, no one listening to this video through [unintelligible 00:40:35] and have treatment with me. I’m full already. Thank you very much.
My treatment, it’s terrible. Clearly, it’s terrible. It is only, in my opinion, better than the alternatives, to paraphrase Churchill on democracy. Clearly, the only way I’m going to get this treatment better is to get that spotlight of modern medical research focused on this area. That’s what I was trying to do by really trying to push my profession to have a debate on the cause of crooked teeth. The most basic thing they should be doing, part of the scientific process really. It’s got to be prevention. If you are listening to this, look at your kids because sit up straight, shut your mouth.
Chew gum. I know that’s not what every parent wants to hear, but use these muscles. I want to write a book with recipes for working your jaws. We can flip up. There’s nothing. If anyone’s got recipes, please send them to me. If it’s a real jaw-breaking cooking. Because that’s what we need to be saying. Kids need to eat. You can give them soft food or you can give them hard food, but they’re going to eat something. If you can limit their food intake to hard the food, you’re onto a winner.
When I was at school, if you walked along, your hands in your pocket, holding your head down swinging on that, one of the teachers or any of the prefects would go, “Turn round the back of your head,” and it hurt. It was, “Stand out boy. Hands out of your pockets. Hand behind your back.” The memory of that, or the fear of that was so great that whenever I was near anywhere where I thought I might run into a prefect or a teacher, I’d automatically put my hands behind me, close my mouth and stand up straight. What would happen to a teacher who did that to a child today?
Ari: They’d be sued and fired pretty quickly.
Dr. Mew: There we go. That’s the progress, isn’t it?
Ari: [laughs] I have an important question for you that I think is critical to answer before we get into the practical stuff. That is, so we’ve established that crooked teeth and poor jaw structure, poor facial structure more broadly, are caused by modern lifestyles. Now, to what extent is this caused within each of our lifetimes from the time that we are young, we’re little kids, we’re babies until we’re adults, and to what extent is actually at this point, to some extent, truly genetic as a result of epigenetic influence where so many generations eat the poor diet?
Dr. Mew: Don’t know.
Ari: Some degree.
Dr. Mew: I’ve sealed my lips to anyone under three, because I just don’t know. I see kids being born, they’re in the womb. I think that more fetal molding is going on. A baby in the womb like this will get an undershot jaw or a class two, as we call it, with the teeth being set back like this. How much of that could be the fact that women are giving birth much older these days? I think it’s a bit crazy. Average female birthing age of 15 to 17 in a hunter-gatherer past, that’s very young to be having kids. I would presume they’d have many more life experiences by then. Women giving birth later, they’re going to have less natural muscle tone.
Of course, you’re sitting down. You’re not exercising as much. A real decrease in muscle tone and position of the baby. We’ve got different diets. Probably we’ve got more toxins and everything else going on in society. There are other congenital factors that may not be true genetic or epigenetic factors. However, I see quite a few babies that are born that have discrepancies in their craniofacial structure. In a way, I don’t know. What I do see is a lot of them tend to get better over the next couple of years. There are some interesting things going on in the under three-year. That’s why I’m just standing back at the moment. I don’t know everything. I’m not expected to know everything. I’m asking the right questions. I don’t have all the answers.
What you can do to straighten your teeth
Ari: Then the next little piece of that is, within each of our lifetimes, let’s say it is lifestyle-based, let’s say we have, as individuals, complete control over it based on lifestyle, environmental influences, non-genetic influences, to what extent is this put into place within the first, I don’t know, 5, 10 years of life? Then as adults listening to this podcast, to what extent do we actually have the ability to do anything that can have an impact on jaw structure, teeth alignment, facial structure?
Dr. Mew: Let’s remember, there’s two great statistics I remember from my exams. That was at five years old, you’re 50% grown in your head, and at eight years old, you’re 80% grown in your head. There’s a little bit of divergence between girls and boys, but basically, by the ages of 12 for girls, and 14 for boys, your head’s basically grown. Remember, your head is bigger than the rest of your body, proportionately when you’re born. Your head is ahead. At five years old, it is amazing what you can do, literally amazing, faces. Within a week, you can see changes in facial form.
At eight years old, things are really slowing down, so I prefer my treatments in the five to eight-year-old ranges for what I’m going to do. I think a lot you could do with good parenting, but you really need to have a structured household. If you don’t have a structured household, you are really going to struggle with this. As I said, with any parents coming in wanting treatment from me here, at the moment, my terrible system, which is better than the alternatives, is difficult. Unless you’re well structured, you’re not going to get a result with me.
My objective is not to make the teeth straight. It’s to guide the growth of the face to gain an upswing in facial form, so reduce the vertical and increase the cross-sectional area to give you space for your teeth. I don’t want to align the teeth, I want someone to align their own teeth. I don’t like treating anyone really over the age of 10. I have because people often come to me saying, “I’ve been told I need this, or I need that.” When someone is over the age of 10, then I’m relying on their motivation. By the time they get to 14, I’m really relying on their motivation.
Then this thing called mewing started. This caught me by surprise because I put this information out there. I should have suspected it. When you look at a photograph that you might be in, the first thing you’re doing is looking for yourself. When anyone’s listening to this podcast, what they’re doing is they’re thinking about themselves and how this can help them. It’s a natural thing that humans are going to do. I gave a lecture for something called The 21 Convention, and that lecture just went crazy. I was shocked at the penetration, and then the emails I got. Clearly, we had one of those Google Alerts with my name on it.
I was seeing my name arise in conversations all over the place. Then the mewing got cracking. I didn’t question mewing, people called it mewing. This was the exercises I was giving people to help them improve. I’m giving it to young kids. I never imagined people in their late teens, 20s, would ever be able to gain changes, but they did. They took the message I was saying, and they applied it well. They went overboard I think. I’m regularly seeing images online with people who are gaining mewing changes, I’m seeing up to about 25 years old. I’m seeing people getting significant– not significant, I mean massive changes. Literally unbelievable changes, changes that you cannot believe someone has achieved and that’s motivation. That’s the big problem in my clinic is, little Johnny comes along because his muumy wants a change, he doesn’t want to change. He just wants to have an easy life. I put all these complicated appliances in their mouth and Johnny doesn’t want that. He just wants an easy life and there we go. This is the big conundrum, youth, wasted on the young.
Ari: I have to say this us be some divine serendipity that your last name is Mew and mewing rhymes with chewing. It’s the perfect circumstance for a guy named with the last name Mew to develop some technique that is somewhat similar to chewing that-
Dr. Mew: There’s more to it.
Ari: -it’s the perfect context for something to go viral. I think you lucked out with that one.
Dr. Mew: I did luck out with that one. We had to be honest, tried to get something to go viral. We were attempting to get things to go viral. We were trying to focus on the profession more than on the public. I had employed someone who was running some sort of Facebook sweatshop of just trying to pump out information. I don’t quite know what he did. I don’t know how much of it was legit, but he was pumping stuff out and maybe that helped, it probably did somewhere because, that ether of marketing, you never quite know which action you did gained you that outcome, but it went global. I’m now stopped in the street.
Dr. Mew: I think that must make me the most famous dentist there’s ever been. Then we haven’t even got going because of course I have now riled the orthodontic profession and they are going to try very hard to take me out. I’m now the accused and I have several cases against me. It’s a purely philosophical discussion. There’s no suggestion, one of the cases I didn’t treat, I just treatment planned it. another case the treatment has gone beautifully. The mother is overjoyed with the outcome, the case to me, looks like it’s a stunning improvement in facial form and dental alignment, it looks great, what’s to complain about? Yet they’re taking me to court.
Then, of course, I’ve got the British Orthodontic Society has reported me. They went out of their way to hobble me basically. This is- I’ve got to be careful what I’m saying- in my view, this is a public lynching because they want to get rid of me. Of course, if I go into that courtroom, I seriously risk losing my license and everything, everything I lose. The reason is because first, I don’t have any expert– There’s no orthodontic expert in the UK that’s going to defend what I do because by definition, they’re all old, retired, mainly men– well, all men, who were orthodontists. They’re very conservative in their out outlook.
Generally, the panel at the General Dental Council listen to the experts because they don’t know anything and I don’t have an expert, so I lose. Also, the panel all know that wisdom teeth were a genetic aberration that we don’t have anymore. They know that the way their face grew is genetic. It’s a set deal.
Of course, the main allegation against me is that I do not have adequate objective evidence that what I was aiming to do would work. Of course I don’t have any, new sciences don’t have adequate objective evidence.
Ari: Of course.
Dr. Mew: The whole point, it’s new. Of course, all of the orthodontic evidence squarely says I’m wrong, because as I said, I have to be wrong or orthodontics is wrong, it’s an either-or. This is a philosophical debate in which it is just grossly unfair, just grossly unfair.
The chance of me getting a proper fair hearing is none or nil, so whoopy-doo-dah, here we go. I’ve got to really think out the box or I’m dead meat. Of course, this whole science goes down. Worse than that, the tone they’re taking means that anyone who doesn’t have objective evidence for what they’re doing, shouldn’t do it. That’s going to have an effect. We have common law in the UK and of course our common law is pooled with, Australian, New Zealand, and Canada, and quite a few other Commonwealth countries I believe. If I go down then that domino effect goes, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. All non-mainstream orthodontics, anything that doesn’t have adequate objective evidence, it stops.
Ari: It’s so interesting that you’re in this situation in the midst of a pandemic where we’ve implemented measures, non-pharmaceutical interventions, on a global scale, in a totally unprecedented way with measures that had none or close to no objective evidence or precedent that they would work, and they’ve, by most of the world data, have failed miserably in that regard.
Dr. Mew: Yes, a lot [crosstalk].
Ari: We continue to implement them, but we won’t go there. It’s just interesting that you in this situation where they’re trying to prevent you from doing something that is pretty innocuous and [unintelligible 00:57:05].
Dr. Mew: The only thing I can mention about the COVID situation, is in March, I’m supposed to sack half my staff because they won’t be vaccinated. That will finish my business anyway. We just wait for the [unintelligible 00:57:18]. The way I see it, it’s one rule for them and one rule for me and that’s how it goes. If you’re in the in-group, you’re okay. If you’re not in the in-group, particularly if you threaten the livelihood of the in-group– There’s an old phrase, “Don’t pick a fight unless you think you’re going to win it,” now they clearly think they’re going to win it.
I think, if I don’t think out the box, if I’m not clever, oh they will win this fight and I will lose my license and non-mainstream orthodontics is over, planet-wise because of course, if the Commonwealth countries go down, how long till America smells that and follows? How well until the rest of Europe follows that? Because this is what the orthodontists desperately want. They want to get rid of those non-mainstream and tinkers and– In the UK I’m a known charlatan. My name is so rubbish that it’s really quite difficult.
If I want to team up with a professor of some other area of dentistry or even medicine, or before you’d team up with someone you’d ask around. I meet someone, and they’re so happy they’re, “Oh, wow, this is fascinating, fascinating.” We have a couple of emails and then nothing more, they never get back. I’ll tell you, I had four, five emails, they blank me, not even a response, and that’s normal, face it, that’s what happens.
Suppression is, I can never know what it’s like to be racist because I’m white. Imagine I could compare- or sexist because I’m male- or sorry, suffer from racism or sexism. However being suppressed is really, really hard work, really just because there’s always someone who thinks it’s their duty to stick the knife in. You go to a meeting, there’s going to be some on who makes some snide comment. I remember going to a meeting and I was with a group of the non-mainstream orthodontists and my father, and I just said to them, “Great guys, we’re hanging out all day. I’m going to go sit with someone else.” I saw a really lively table over at the other end of the side and there was a couple of spaces. “Oh, I’ll go and sit there,” the conversation was animated and everyone was laughing. I sat down, silent.
Now, I’m good with people. I’m really good. I’m really social. I’m life and soul of the party. I know how to sit down and chat to people, I’m good at it. I just do two or three attempts to start a conversation, which was met with single-word answers, monosyllabic, “duh, duh,” and then fairly quickly one by one, everyone left. That is just an example, but it happens all of the time, always. I go to a lecture of orthodontics and I ask a question and you can hear this general sigh of, “Oh God, what’s this person asking?” People talk to me like I’m stupid. Like literally, I’ve no idea what I’m talking about. I need to be– talking to me slowly with simple words.
Ari: I was picturing a Jewish person sitting down at a table at a Ku Klux Klan meeting or something like that and how people respond as the Jewish guys, politely and being friendly and trying to make conversation.
Dr. Mew: It’s when you go to anyone in the profession. I had good friends of mine, great friends from uni and they’ve gone into academia. When I meet them, I try so hard, I try and invite them out to things, never come. Then when I meet them at some meetings, you can just see, it’s just like, “Oh, yes, Mike. Oh, hi, yes, how are you doing? I’m can’t stand too close to you. I don’t want anyone to see that I’m talking to you.”
Ari: Well, I’d hang out with you, if that means anything? This is one of the most fun and interesting conversations I can think I’ve had in a long time. I want to loop back because we have limited time to wrap this up, especially because I actually have another interview right after this in about 15 minutes. I want to make sure we cover practical stuff. Let’s say I am a person with crooked teeth. Let’s say I’ve got dental problems. Let’s say I’ve got–
Dr. Mew: Go with someone with sleep apnea.
Ari: What’s that?
Dr. Mew: Crooked teeth, who cares? Who cares if you’ve got crooked teeth? So many people– when I qualified from university, there was nothing on sleep apnea. Sleep apnea didn’t exist in the syllabus and yet now 10 to 20% of the population are going to be dying 10 years early.
Ari: Let’s go there. We’ve got poor jaw formation as a result of the factors you’ve outlined. We’ve got–
Dr. Mew: If you’ve got craniofacial dystrophy you’re [unintelligible 01:03:02], your tongue’s gone in your airway and now every night you’re snoring and you’re really worried about your long-time health implications because this is a nasty disease.
Ari: You’ve got chronic fatigue as a result of the airway malformation as well.
Dr. Mew: Just quickly, just my moment, psychotic fatigue, what I think is related to chronic fatigue is the fact that a lot of people in their effort to provide more space for their airway, they’re moving their tongue between their teeth. They’ll probably have marks on the side of their tongues and they then rest like this all the time. The jaw joint then reforms and all of the bones of the head and the muscles and everything reform so that this is their perfect position. That’s where the muscles are lined up to take force.
Then when they bring their teeth together, that’s a slightly different position from where their muscles and joints and their bone plates and everything are set up. As they bite there, there’s a little bit of a creak goes on in the whole skull, because they’re now pulling it in for a slightly odd position, and all the bone plates move. They crunch a little bit in the wrong places where they’re not designed to do and then of course that’s a bit stressful, so you clench even harder.
The clenching is only ever going to last for 1 or 2 hours over a 24 hour period. For most of the rest of that time, you’re like this, and there’s that, [makes a creaking noise] and all those nerves and– mainly the nerves running between the bone plates are going to get a little bit inflamed. The whole thing is going to be a little bit crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch. That, I think, is at least contributing to chronic fatigue and that’s my hunch.
Ari: Yes, interesting theory.
Dr. Mew: That’s the principle upon which I’ve been working on. That’s why I think chronic fatigue is factored in. Then the other thing is the old phrase, “Do obese people get sleep apnea or do people with sleep apnea become obese?”
Dr. Mew: You’ve could read that both ways. Of course, if you’ve got craniofacial dystrophy, your tongue’s [unintelligible 01:05:10] [gasping sound] every night, you wake up and you want those greasy sugary, you’re going to gorge because you’ve hit your fight and flight. The body’s thinking, “God, we might not be alive that long. Yes, this is a special day. We’ve really got to get all those calories on board.” Anyway, back to your question. What shall we do about this? The idea with mewing is to get your tongue on the roof of the mouth.
Now, unfortunately, and this is a really annoying thing. Many, many, many of you will not be able to fit your tongue on the roof of the mouth. There is just not space, but you will get your tongue, the idea is your tongue is fully on the roof of the mouth with the back of it up. If you watch, I get the back of my tongue up. Here’s me with my tongue down. If I get the back of my tongue up– You want to have a better head and neck posture because you’re basically forcing this lump of tissue up into the top here. Then you hold the tongue up there by sucking it in position. When you look at all of the old anatomy textbooks, they have a little line over the tongue and they say negative pressure. That was normal in all the old anatomy textbooks and yet how many people hold negative pressure over the top of their tongue?
Most people don’t and that’s what you want because there’s no way you can hold– well, it’s very difficult, let’s say, to hold your tongue on the roof of your mouth. No, you suck it up there. As you suck it up there, you’re going to vacuum pack your lips against your teeth and of course the teeth vacuum-packed between the tongue and the one side and the lips on the other side, they become straight. That’s how teeth are supposed to become straight. You just maintain that position because remember that’s posture.
I sometimes describe this. I remember a little old lady when I was working in the maxillofacial department, the oral surgery department in Brighton, you could see her walking around on the street in Brighton, couldn’t even have her head in the right position because she had this huge, great big lump on the side of her head. I’d noticed her a couple of times. Then one day I walk into the waiting room at my department and there she is in the waiting room and this great big lump was a solid bone lump so clearly the cyst she’d had, had started in the bone and got gently, gently, gently, gently, gently bigger until it was out here. You could tap it. It was hard.
Now imagine if you had a cyst anywhere in your head that was in the bone, it would gently expand the bone and the pressure inside a cyst is minuscule. Just a little bit of osmolarity really. The water’s coming in because there’s a salty environment inside. Now imagine if you had your tongue on the roof of your mouth, now it’s going to act just like some sort of cyst, that gentle constant pressure is going to build a whole– lift your cheekbones up. Drive your whole face up and forwards, but it’s got to be there all the time and that’s the problem because people kid themselves.
Now, first of all, most of you won’t have space for it, and the people who just have enough space to get the tongue in the roof of mouth, they’re going to feel the back of their tongue in their airway. Of course, you’re going to have the angel on one side. “Ooh, Mike makes absolute sense, fits with all times.” Finds me some science that doesn’t fit with this. It fits with the science I should be doing– I’d stand up straight and shut your mouth. Hardly a new idea, good idea. Then you’ve got the devil on the other side that says, “Breathe.” What’s going to win?
Ari: The devil, of course.
Dr. Mew: It’s going to win, it’s hard to change. Now, you could go to an orthodontist and get more space, but remember everyone right now, if you’re not wearing a retainer, your teeth are in a safe place and the teeth, the bone, and the gum are all in that safe place as to find between the tongue and the lips. Now, if you get an orthodontist to artificially widen the teeth, you can hold them with a retainer. You can’t hold the bone and the gum. I’ve got real worries about this long-term retention concept for those reasons because you can hold the teeth but you can’t hold the bone and gums. Just be careful, you can go to an orthodontist and you can get extra space for your tongue with mechanical appliances. I’d recommend the ALF appliances A-L-F. I’d recommend the Myobraces as quick simple answers. I’d steer clear on many of the other ones but that will help you–
Ari: Like Invisalign?
Dr. Mew: Two layers of plastic between your teeth and your teeth not meeting comfortably. I’m not that keen on it. Get some more space, but you have got then to change. We don’t do magic. You have got to change. In essence, if you increase the cross-sectional area, you’ve got to reduce the vertical. Otherwise, you’re not being consistent with the pathology of this problem. Then you can do chewing.
If you’ve got any inkling of jaw joint problems, do the pinky test, research that, take measurements. I provide them on my YouTube channel, but make sure you don’t have jaw joint problems. Because if you start chewing and you’ve got jaw joint problems, you can go down a very bad hole. What I really need is support because when 10% to 20% of all adults dying 10 years early, hell, we need change. What are we doing? We’re treating so many kids. The majority of the kids are being treated with systems that– what are we doing?
All I’m asking for is debate. Any orthodontist listening to this, or anyone saying, “Well, what’s happening?” Get your orthodontist to engage with me. Debate with me, this is the essence of science. I’m asking for no more than the scientific process. The scientific process; wonderful. Development from the scientific process. Scientific process bought us these, it works.
We just need to actually have those discussions, stop hiding, come and talk with me, but can we have free, so we talk about everything– full, we talk about everything. Fair– free, sorry, everyone can come along.
The orthodontists did this great engagement in Marco Island [unintelligible 01:12:17] orthodontics and sleep apnea. Well, they didn’t invite the people who were both unvocal about problems. They were excluded. They weren’t asked to give any involvement, but of course, that’s a cover-up. When you do that, when you have a meeting with the objective of finding something out and you don’t invite the critical parties to speak, it’s a coverup.
Ari: Let me ask you this on the practical level, let’s tie this up. We want to mew, which is pushing the tongue up against the roof of the mouth.
Dr. Mew: Sucking the tongue to the roof of the mouth and building your muscles up. Those are the two principles. Then of course improve your body posture.
Ari: Body posture, sit up straight, shut your mouth, push the tongue up against the roof of the mouth. Should we be doing reps with that or just holding it in place? I’ve seen people advising doing reps, pushing the tongue up, and doing a swallowing.
Dr. Mew: There is the problem with posture and function. Function is something you do. I can come in. I can pick my gym bag up. I can go down the gym and I can do it. I plan on Tuesday night, great. That’s what I’m going to do. I can do that on Tuesday night. Posture is you, you’re changing yourself. People don’t want to change. Voila, the real problem.
Ari: Got it. We’re working on that posture. Our physical posture, our tongue posture, sit up straight, shut your mouth, tongue on the roof of the mouth with that negative pressure, suck to the roof of the mouth, and we’re working on chewing more hard foods. Is that correct?
Dr. Mew: Yes. With the caveat that don’t precipitate [unintelligible 01:14:12].
Ari: If we do those two things, is it possible to change our airway structures to breathe better, to sleep better, to have more energy?
Dr. Mew: Well, if you were 80 years old and you had a stroke or someone cut your trigeminal nerve, the para nerve, your face would drop like a stone at 80 years old. In theory, and that was matched up with some of Harvold’s experiments on growing and non-growing female monkeys. In theory, you can grow up and forwards, after 25, to 80 to 90. Clearly, you’re on the bottom of a descending curve, but you can do it. There’s a reason. What seems to stop us is this one here. What’s going on in here seems to stop us. Now clearly there’s this relationship between form and function. If you don’t have the shape, the form, if you don’t have enough space for your tongue on the roof of the mouth, you may run into problems with that.
Of course, that’s what I want to research and I want to do. The amount of idiot time I waste on court cases and not getting into these points, I need to be getting funding. I need to be getting research. In this country we have paid-for researchers who should pick up, I should just report to them and they take it up, but of course, when the door of the ivory tower is locked, it is properly locked. That’s all I want. I want access in to people who know how to help me do this research, some funding. I get home in the evening and I’m just ready to– I work incredibly hard for very little money. I’m doing my best, but we need teams and teams of researchers. We need decent money. We need the spotlight of modern medical research to focus on this area. It’s here. It’s affecting everyone. I often say the only people who are interested in the subject are people with faces, but if you’ve got a face, this is fascinating because this affects you.
Ari: Yes, indeed. You did a video a few years ago that I saw on YouTube called Tongue Chewing. Can you describe what that is, and do you still advocate doing that?
Dr. Mew: No, I would advocate doing that. One of the problems, if you just start chewing with your jaw muscles, is that you can lead to the jaw joint problems. If you are worried about that, you can just chew chewing gum using your tongue. I won’t go into all of the reasons why that’s much safer, but that’s much, much safer. What you’re doing is you’re just building up the strength of your tongue and the same way you are asking me about reps for the tongue. Well, of course, you see these bodybuilders they’re out here because they’re resting their latent muscle tone is so much stronger because their normal muscle tone is stronger. Tongue chewing is quite good and you can sit there all day long. I don’t think there’s a limit to tongue chewing, go and do this all the time you want, but you chew all the time.
Then, of course, I’ve got to put a whatsaname, a plugin for my app. We’re hoping soon in the new year we will have a mewing app.
Dr. Mew: Finally having– what are we six months late? That happens with apps when you going to alert them. We’ll have an app out there and it’ll have– What we want to do is have a ridiculous number of videos, so really, really good value for money. I want to make it. We’re going to charge, I think £10, which is $12 and just a huge crazy number of videos so that it– I’ve never really explained to people the ins and outs of how to mew and there we go, the mewing app should be out early in the new year.
Ari: Wonderful. We’ll try to release this podcast. I’ll coordinate with you afterwards and we’ll release this podcast after it comes out. That way people can go to your website and get that. What is your website by the way? Let’s just do that right now.
Dr. Mew: I would say, easy enough to go to Orthotropics – YouTube. Orthotropics, you can get us on the orthotropics.com website as well.
Ari: If somebody wants to go download that app, where would they go?
Dr. Mew: [laughs] I know yet. I haven’t really thought about that one, but that app would–
Ari: Classic response of somebody who’s a science gig expert clinician rather than a businessman and a marketer. [laughs] I love it.
Dr. Mew: [laughs] No, hang around. The app will be called Mewing, and it’ll be on the phone.
Dr. Mew: Isn’t that how you get apps?
Ari: Well, you could get it from the App Store probably, and from your website, you’ll probably have a link, whoever your web developer is, we’ll coordinate with you after and I’ll get a link from you that we’ll put in the YouTube.
Dr. Mew: I’m not in this for the money.
Ari: Of course, I know.
Dr. Mew: I’ll tell you, I’ll get that money and I’ll pump it straight back into the clinic and subsidize people coming in that treatment.
Dr. Mew: The fact that I haven’t been on a proper holiday since my honeymoon, whatever. Some years I’ve not even taken a week off. You can’t, if you’re doing something like this, it’s just– and all the pressure on me and then don’t get me going with my health, it’s just a nightmare. All right.
Ari: Dr. Mew, thank you so much for your time. This’s been really a lot of fun. I don’t recall laughing and smiling so much in an interview. Maybe this is the most fun one I’ve ever done. Really enjoyed it. I wish I could talk to you for another hour. Maybe I’ll have you on for a Part 2 sometime. I would love to talk to you about just dental health more broadly because there’s many more questions.
Dr. Mew: Anyone that thinks about one thing is bound to think about many other things.
Ari: Indeed. Indeed thank you so much for your time and sharing your wisdom with my audience. I really appreciate it. For people looking to help you out, maybe there’s some listeners out there that are interested in funding research, or scientists listening to this that are interested in working with you, how can they get in touch with you?
Dr. Mew: Well, we’re going to be launching a campaign, try and raise funds. The insurance body that I’m insured– you need indemnity insurance in this company, and they will provide you with solicitors and lawyers and barristers if you have a court case like I have, but they’re not going to be proactive. They’re not going to take the fight to the institutions. They’re going to be defensive. I need legal muscle that is going to be aggressive and attack, not defend. We’re raising funds to get proper legal representation. Then clearly any excess on that will go to research and funding. I think the best thing to say at the moment is, to watch this– I’ll give you something, a link to put on underneath this video when it goes out because we’re organizing that at the moment, but again, I’m not a marketer, I’m a scientist. I’m here to make the world a better place.
Ari: Yes, absolutely. Dr. Mew, thank you so much for the work you’re doing. I really appreciate it. I think it’s extremely important work, so keep it up-
Dr. Mew: Yes, thank you very much.
Ari: -and I hope to talk to you again very soon.
Dr. Mew: Cool. Listen, pleasure. Okay.
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What you can do to straighten your teeth (48:55)