The Mew Indicator Line

The Mew Indicator Line

Mew Indicator Line Title Image

The Mew Indicator Line (cosmetic line) was developed by Dr John Mew and is used to assess facial growth by determining the position of the maxilla.

Surprisingly, this method is one of the most reliable ways to determine whether the maxilla is in a retruded, protruded, or normal position.

The position of the maxilla is important as it controls the growth and development of the mandible (lower jaw). Therefore, if the maxilla drops down due to mouth-breathing then the lower jaw is going to become more recessed – leading to improper facial development and a more unattractive face.

Figure 1.1 - The Mew Indicator Line ruler used to measure maxillary position

Pictured above is a steel ruler is used to measure the distance between the tip of the nose and the bottom of the upper incisors (Figure 1.2).

Figure 1.2 - How to measure maxillary position
Figure 1.3 - Visualization of the Indicator Line

The graph below shows the ideal values for each age group (Figure 1.1). Keep in mind that these figures are related to the average values obtained for Caucasians. Scandinavians tend to score around 1 mm more and Orientals about 1 or 2 mm less than what is listed.

Age Male Female
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
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
Adult 40-44 mm 38-42 mm
Figure 1.4 - Relationship between OSA and facial recession

So now that we know how to measure facial growth using the Mew Indicator Line what measurement did you get?

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