have teeth

(redirected from had teeth)

have teeth

To have enough power or support of authority to compel obedience or punish offenders, as of a law. This new law against littering has teeth, so if you don't pick up your trash, you'll get a hefty fine. It's a good idea, but it simply doesn't have teeth—there's no way to enforce it.
See also: have, teeth

have teeth

If an organization or law has teeth, it has the necessary authority or power to make people obey it. Pro-democracy campaigners complain that the new assembly will have no teeth. This legislation has teeth, but judges are not imposing the tougher penalties.
See also: have, teeth

have ˈteeth

(British English, informal) (of an organization, a law, etc.) be powerful and effective: It appears that the new legislation doesn’t have any teeth, since there has been no improvement in working conditions.
See also: have, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
Patients who have had teeth whitening services are more likely to take better care of their teeth.
One thing is for sure, things will only get worse with time, and even if you have had teeth missing a long time it is still worth talking to Robin or your own dentist.
The survey showed that of the 1,510 children surveyed in Solihull, 79 per cent had teeth free from decay and every one of them drank fluoridated water.
In Warwickshire - 2,706 children surveyed - 77 per cent had teeth free from decay and 83 per cent of the population is supplied by fluoridated water.