The polished surface of a transverse section from a human premolar was treated with buffered lactic acid. The etching pattern of the enamel was determined by scanning the surface with a mechano-electric transducer. Etching defects associated with the Retzius lines have been investigated. The distribution of the radial distances of these etching defects indicates at least two subpopulations, the means of which are in the proportion 1:2. This result is due to the fact that the solubility of the enamel varies along a Retzius line (i. e. in circumferential direction), and in the radial direction. The possible relevance of these results for the carious demineralization process is discussed.

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