Social media has a weird way of making you feel insecure about things you didn't even know you should be concerned with—and currently, it's been focusing on your jawline.
The popular social media app TikTok is flooded right now with people who claim that a tiny device you can repeatedly chew on helped give them a more chiseled jawline. The trend isn't necessarily brand new, but it has recently picked up steam, namely due to a video shared by user @ilikepiemuah0—and then a subsequent video by user @thyrants calling her out for recommending unsafe practices.
In the original video, @ilikepiemuah0 shared how she "got rid of [her] double chin in 57 days" and defined her jawline. "I bought a 'jawline exerciser' from amazon," she wrote in the video, alongside before-and-after photos. "I use it for 30 [minutes] (twice a day)."
She's not the only one who's recommended a "jawline exerciser." TikTok user @carolfinee, whose real name is Caroline Sebastian, said she was "shocked at how nice my jaw turned out," in a video. "Highly recommend," she added. Haley Biemiller, known as TikTok user @haleybiemiller, also had a glowing recommendation for the product. "Okay no lie, this shit kinda works! jawzrsize you should sponsor me," she wrote next to her own before-and-after video.
That previously-mentioned video by @thyrants—he actually made a few different videos on this topic—basically calls out influencers for "shilling for a product that can damage your TMJ." His video has gotten over 2.6 million views and nearly 600,000 likes. "These influencers are lying to you about their jawlines to make money," he said.
So what’s going on here? Can you really exercise your jawline?
Both Sebastian and Biemiller are using a device called the Jawzrsize, and it's basically like a tiny Thighmaster for you mouth. Jawzrsize swears on its website that its product "easily works for anyone trying to get that chiseled look" and that the device will help you "get a full facial workout in just a few minutes." The brand also promises that, "whether you want to slim, tone, or tighten, Jawzrsize makes it easy to get the look you've always wanted."
To use it, you pop a small, ball-like device in your mouth and hold it between your front teeth. Users are urged to start during the first week with the easiest level (there are several balls, each with varying difficulties) and do three to four sets of 15 to 30 reps of biting down on the device and releasing. "If sore take a rest day," Jawzrsize says online.
For week two, you add or subtract the number of sets you do "according to athletic ability" or "personal preference," Jawzrsize says. During weeks three through five, users will add sets with "middle and upper-level" Jawzrsizes. It costs $100 for a set of four devices.
Is it safe to use this jaw exercise device?
So, experts are not impressed. Mark Wolff, DDS, PhD, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, tells Health that this is a "crazy device."
First, there's this: Dr. Wolff says that the device may actually give you a bulked-up jawline. "Many patients who struggle with nighttime clenching and grinding complain that those muscles bulge for them," he says. The device will specifically work your masseter muscle, a muscle in the lower jaw area that helps you chew solid foods, he says. "That will bulk up, but it's unlikely to get rid of bags on the cheek, if that's what you're concerned with," Dr. Wolff says.
But even if there's a chance of results, Dr. Wolff says it's not a good idea to use this product based on what else can happen. "This is an incredibly dangerous item for the health of your front teeth," he says. If you have "any periodontal [gum] disease at all," it can cause your front teeth to actually bend out, Wolff says. And, Dr. Wolff says, if you keep using a device like this over a longer period of time, you risk messing up your teeth so badly that you'll need braces—regardless of the previous health of your teeth.
"Think of a child who sucks their thumb developing an open bite; When forces are placed on teeth, they can change positions," Nathaniel Lawson, DMD, PhD, associate professor and director of the Division of Biomaterials at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry, tells Health. "The same thing can happen if someone were to use this device for an extended period of time."
There's also this: The device can potentially cause issues with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), a joint responsible for your jaw movement. "Patients can get headaches and TMJ-related pain when their muscles of mastication become overused," Dr. Lawson says. "For this reason, dentists will make bite guards to separate their teeth and allow the muscles to relax. This device is the opposite of a bite guard."
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, problems with the TMJ can cause issues including; radiating pain in the face, jaw, or neck; jaw muscle stiffness; limited movement or locking of the jaw; painful clicking, popping, or grating when opening or closing the mouth; or a change in the way the teeth fit together.
Health reached out to Jawzrsize for comment on these claims regarding the safety of their products, but had not heard back as of press time.
Overall though, TikTok teens take heed: Experts recommend against these devices for the sake of your jaw health. "This is a really bad idea," Dr. Wolff says. "Don't use this."
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