The purposes of the study were: (1) to assess the prevalence and distribution of smooth-bordered tooth wear in teenagers, and (2) to investigate the relationship between smooth-bordered tooth wear and social background, dietary pattern, drinking habits, oral hygiene practices and caries prevalence. In The Hague, The Netherlands, a sample of 345 10- to 13-year-olds and 400 15- and 16-year-olds was clinically examined. The criteria for the assessment of smooth-bordered tooth wear (‘smooth wear’) were in line with the diagnostic criteria for erosion developed by Lussi (1996). In the age group 10–13 years, the percentage of subjects with visible smooth wear (SW1 threshold) was 3% and in 1 subject (0.3%), deep smooth enamel wear was found. Due to the low prevalence, the results for this age group were not analysed further. In the age group 15–16 years, the proportion of subjects with visible smooth wear (SW1 threshold) was 30% and that with at least deep smooth enamel wear (SW2 threshold) 11%. Smooth wear into dentine was found in 1 subject. First molars and upper anterior teeth were affected predominantly. A significant effect on visible smooth wear (SW1 threshold) was found for gender and social background. At mouth level, no significant influence was found for dietary patterns, drinking habits or oral hygiene practices. The caries prevalence was similar in subjects with and without smooth wear.