Mew Indicator Line: Maxilla Positioning by Prof. John Mew

Ever wondered if you can measure your jaw development on a scale? The Mew indicator line does just that! 

What is Mew Indicator Line?

The concept of the cosmetic line known as the Mew Indicator Line was developed by Dr. John Mew. It is used to assess facial growth by determining the maxillary position.

mew indicator line

The Mew Indicator Line ruler used to measure the maxillary position

It is said that this particular method is one of the most reliable methods to determine whether the maxilla is in a retruded, protruded, or normal position.

The thing that controls the growth and development of the mandible (lower jaw) is the position of the maxilla (upper jaw). Hence, we can make out the importance of the maxillary position and how it is interlinked with the mandible.

Therefore, in cases where the maxilla drops down due to mouth-breathing or incorrect tongue posture, the lower jaw becomes more recessed. This recessed jaw leads to improper facial development and an unattractive face.

what is mew indicator line

The image above showcases a steel ruler that is used to measure the space between the tip of the nose to the bottom of the upper incisors (front teeth) as shown below.

How to measure the maxillary position?

How to measure maxillary position?

According to Dr. Mew, this is a linear measurement from the biting edge of the upper front teeth to the tip of the nose. The ideal value behind the Mew indicator line is the individual’s age in addition to the number 23. 

mewing indicator line

This measurement differs slightly with different body sizes. However, an increase of 5 mm or more from these standard values indicates false facial growth.

For example, at 5 years of age, the distance in mm should be 28 mm or 29 mm at 6 years and should increase by 1 mm every year.

We have curated a graph that displays the ideal number for each age group. The one thing to remember is that these figures are related to the average values obtained for Caucasians (a person of European origin). 

Scandinavians (North European) are likely to score around 1 mm more and Orientals (East Asian) about 1-2 mm less than what is listed down below.

Age Male Female
10 33 mm 33 mm
11 34 mm 34 mm
12 35 mm 35 mm
13 36 mm 36 mm
14 37 mm 37 mm
15 38 mm 38 mm
16 39 mm
17 40 mm
5 28 mm 28 mm
6 29 mm 29 mm
7 30 mm 30 mm
8 31 mm 31 mm
9 32 mm 32 mm
Adult 40-44 mm 38-42 mm

High Indicator Line vs Ideal Indicator Line

mew indicator line

Relationship between OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) and facial recession

We can see in the above example, how the patient towards the left suffering from Sleep Apnea who is prone to mouth breathing has a recessed maxilla and mandible. This is an example of a High indicator line which means he has a retrusive profile.

On the other hand, the girl on the right is a nasal breather and has a forward maxilla and mandible growth, making her an example of an ideal indicator line with a normal and attractive profile.

Final Thoughts

This is a reliable method to conclude whether your jaw specifically the maxilla is recessed or not. It can either be recessed, in the ideal position, or protruded.

You can visit your nearest Orthotropic expert and get your jaw consulted in case you find that your score isn’t ideal. It is best to practice Mewing and other jawline exercises while you get yourself treated.

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