The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of dental erosion in the maxillary incisors of a sample of 14-year-old schoolchildren and to explore the aetiological factors responsible for that erosion. The cross-sectionally design study took place in secondary schools in inner-city London, UK and involved 525, 14-year-old schoolchildren selected at random in a clinical examination and a self-completed questionnaire. The outcomes measures for dental erosion were; the prevalence, the area and depth of lesions and the risk factors. The prevalence of labial and palatal erosion was 16.9 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. Risk factors and behaviours including daily frequency of ingestion of acidic fruits and drinks, food vomiting, toothbrushing frequency, and swimming habits were not shown to have any relationship with the presence of erosion. It was concluded that the prevalence of erosion in the maxillary incisors of this sample was higher labially and lower palatally than in previously reported national figures. The risk factors which were investigated were not shown to have any relationship with the presence of erosion. Further investigations of these issues are necessary to establish whether or not dental erosion is a public health problem in the UK.