have teeth

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Among the key findings put forth by this study was the fact that 47.8 per cent of older Chinese Americans reported having teeth symptoms; participants who reported teeth symptoms at baseline experienced their global cognition and episodic memory decline.
If any legal spring trap has been modified by having teeth cut into the jaws or fencing staples welded onto them, they are also illegal.
Rate (one in every x) Area Kids under 10 having teeth removed Bolton 554 155 Bury 250 218 Manchester 1,546 105 Oldham 408 182 Rochdale 326 203 Salford 460 160 Stockport 580 137 Tameside 308 206 Trafford 376 184 Wigan 868 98 England 31,666 237
The present study reported a high proportion of children having teeth affected with a caries lesion reaching the pulp (30.33%), which in most cases would require a pulp therapy or an extraction.
This question was asked a dentist while sitting in the dental chair and recalling the pain encountered while having teeth filled in the early 1940s
Nationally, 141 children a day - some as young as one year old - are having teeth removed.
While rare, the infection can be caused by something as simple as having teeth cleaned or by a tooth abscess.
We visited the dentist and found out about having teeth pulled out but the most terrifying thing about that house was the scary doll in the dentist's bedroom!
Having teeth removed is also the most common cause of hospital admissions in the under tens.
Subjects having physical, medical and psychological abnormalities or having teeth with marginal or extensive restorations, crowns or orthodontic bands or were taking drugs that could affect the state of the gingival tissue were excluded from the study.
THOUSANDS of young children are having teeth pulled out every year - because of too much sugar in their diets and not enough toothbrushing.
Almost Osmond-esque whiteness" Vanessa Feltz after having teeth "sandblasted" at the dentist.
How many of the 100 kids a day having teeth pulled out might have been helped sooner?
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