Can I have boneless wings with braces?

Having braces can make eating certain foods more difficult. Bonless chicken wings, also known as chicken nuggets, tend to be sticky and saucy. This leads many people with braces to wonder: can I eat boneless wings with braces?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can eat boneless chicken wings with braces, but you need to be careful. The sticky sauces and small pieces can get stuck in your braces. Special care must be taken when eating boneless wings with braces to avoid damage or discomfort.

Can You Eat Boneless Wings With Braces?

While you can technically eat boneless wings with braces, you need to be very careful when doing so. The breading can easily break off and get stuck in your braces, and the sauce can be difficult to fully clean out. Getting food stuck can lead to a few issues:

  • Damage to your braces – Food stuck in braces can put pressure on the glue and wires, causing parts to break or come loose.
  • Tooth decay – Leftover food stuck in braces can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay around your brackets.
  • Discomfort – Having food stuck in your teeth and braces can be painful and annoying.
  • Oral hygiene issues – Food stuck in your teeth or braces makes it harder to properly brush and floss.

While you can technically eat boneless wings with braces if you are very careful, most orthodontists recommend avoiding them. The mess and high risk of getting boneless wings stuck in your braces usually outweigh the tasty factor.

Tips for Eating Boneless Wings with Braces

If you do decide to eat boneless wings with braces, follow these tips to reduce your risk:

Avoid the sauciest options

Go for drier rubs rather than wet, sticky sauces which have a higher chance of sticking to your braces. Dry rubs seasoned with spices are a lower-risk option.

Use a toothbrush

Brush your teeth and braces immediately after eating to clear away any stuck pieces before they can do damage. Having a compact toothbrush with you when eating out can help with quick clean-ups.

Watch your bite

Take small bites and chew carefully with your back teeth to avoid snapping the breading off and getting it stuck up front.

Use oral irrigator

An oral irrigator that shoots a focused spray of water can help dislodge bits of boneless wings stuck in your braces.

Rinse repeatedly

Swish and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after eating to help wash away any lingering sauce or breading.

Remove wax or rubber bands

Take off any orthodontic wax or rubber bands before eating boneless wings, then replace after. This protects them from damage and avoids an added surface for food to stick to.

Avoid hard or chewy foods after

Do not eat any additional hard, crunchy, or chewy foods after having boneless wings until you are able to thoroughly clean your teeth. Any remaining bits could further embed or break braces.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

Boneless wings are not the only food that carries risks for braces wearers. Here are some other foods orthodontists typically recommend avoiding:

Food Risks
Popcorn Can get kernel hulls stuck in braces
Nuts Hard and chewy texture can damage braces
Hard candies Can crack brackets or dislodge wires
Ice May cause brackets to come loose
Chewy or sticky candy Has a high risk of sticking to braces

Some softer foods like raw vegetables and fruits should be cut into smaller pieces as well. It’s always smart to take extra care when eating with braces.

Safe Foods to Eat with Braces

While some adjustment is needed, you do not have to completely change your diet with braces. Here are some healthier and safer foods you can enjoy:

  • Yogurt
  • Soups (pureed or well-cooked)
  • Soft bread
  • Pasta (avoid cheesy or sticky sauces)
  • Eggs
  • Well-cooked fish
  • Tofu
  • Cottage cheese
  • Canned fruits (in natural juice)
  • Overcooked vegetables like carrots, peas, and beets

Focus on soft, smooth foods that won’t damage braces. Having a diet of mainly these options can help you safely eat with braces.

Healthy Boneless Wing Alternatives

If you want to satisfy a boneless wing craving without the braces headache, try one of these healthier alternatives:

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Make your own baked chicken nuggets from scratch using boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into pieces then breaded and baked. Skip the sticky sauce for a dip like plain Greek yogurt.

Cauliflower Wings

For a vegetarian take, oven-roasted bites of cauliflower coated in spices like cayenne make a crispy, flavorful substitute.

Chicken Fingers

Plain breaded chicken tenders or fingers avoid sauces, though honey mustard or barbecue sauce on the side works. Just dip rather than drizzle.

Grilled Chicken Strips

Chicken seasoned simply with herbs and olive oil then grilled makes a healthier and safer option to enjoy.

Baked Chicken Fries

Cut chicken breast into fry shapes, coat with panko breadcrumbs, and bake. Serve with one of the lower-risk sauces if desired.

After Braces – Enjoying Boneless Wings Again

The good news is the boneless wing restriction with braces is temporary. Once you complete orthodontic treatment and have your braces removed, you can go back to enjoying properly prepared boneless wings again without concern. The mess and risks will no longer be an issue.

Be sure to continue good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice per day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist regularly after braces come off. This will help keep your smile looking great.

With the right precautions and safer alternatives, it is possible to satisfy boneless wing cravings while wearing your braces. The patience and care required during treatment will pay off when you can bite into all your favorite foods with a perfectly aligned, braces-free smile.


Boneless wings are a tasty food many love, but they do pose some risks for those wearing braces. Their sticky, saucy nature means they can easily get stuck in orthodontic hardware. However, you don’t have to avoid them completely if you take precautions. Brushing after eating, chewing carefully, and choosing lower-risk sauces can allow you to occasionally enjoy boneless wings with braces. Going for healthier baked variations rather than deep-fried also reduces risks. With some adjustments, it is possible to safely eat boneless wings with braces in place.

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