SPRING VALLEY, Ill. (AP) _ Betty Balzarine found her smile under the counter at a fast-food restaurant, thanks to a lost-and-found ad that tickled a man's funny bone.

Balzarine recovered her missing dentures last week, a month after she lost them, thanks to a series of happy coincidences.

Another resident of this north-central Illinois town, Hank DeGroot, thought the idea of someone running a lost-and-found ad for dentures was so funny that he clipped it out of the paper and carried it around as a conversation piece.

One day, he showed the clipping to a restaurant employee - who pulled the $600 set of teeth from under the counter.

When Balzarine got the call, she knew her search was over.

''I said, ''They've got to be mine. Who else loses false teeth?''' she said.

Balzarine said she removed the dentures while shopping before Christmas because she was coughing, and lost them on the way home. Cindy Neises, the restaurant's assistant manager, said it was ''amazing that nobody threw them away.''