have 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 ?
Clare, who works for Liverpool's Community Dental Service, said: "Children often need to have a general anaesthetic to have teeth extracted and it is very sad to see as, not only can it cause distress and discomfort, tooth decay at such a young age can cause a multitude of problems later.
Too much sugar is a huge problem in this country, where 48,000 children have teeth out under general anaesthetic in a year.
He said: "While some teeth need to be removed as they are growing in the wrong place or as a result of accidental damage, a big proportion of these children will have teeth extracted due to preventable decay.
WE SAY DENTAL expert Dr Nigel Carter is right to blame parents for the shocking rise in the number of local children who need to have teeth taken out.
Still today many species have teeth with a large main cusp flanked by one or more cusplets.
I always took the children for regular check ups - like every good mum should, yet secretly thought, why traipse along to the dentist every six months to have teeth poked with a sharp thing making holes that then have to be drilled, filled and .
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