Why are the third molars called wisdom teeth?

The majority of people have most of their permanent teeth by age 13, followed by the wisdom teeth, which usually erupt or become impacted between the ages 17-21. They are called wisdom teeth because they typically arrive during the time of life when a person gains maturity, and thus wisdom.


Most people get their first molars around age 6 and their second molars around age 12. The third molars grow in between age 17 and 21, a period that was considered a time when people become wiser, so the teeth became known as "wisdom teeth."

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.