give teeth to (something)

give teeth to (something)

To make something stronger or more effective, especially a rule or piece of legislation. Senators are hoping to give teeth to the healthcare bill by attaching the threat of huge fines to insurance companies that don't comply. You'll never give teeth to the regulations if officers are not allowed to make arrests.
See also: give, teeth

give teeth to something

 and put teeth in(to) something
Fig. to make something powerful; to give something a real effect. The severe penalty really gives teeth to the law. Strong enforcement puts teeth in the regulation.
See also: give, teeth