Shark tooth hunter discovers a set of dentures

Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 5:47 PM CST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Lemon sharks, Mako sharks, Megalodons are three of these are common species of shark teeth found along the shores of south Sarasota County. However, beachgoers at Nokomis Beach found something really unique -- dentures!

A couple visiting the Suncoast from Connecticut came across the set while getting ready to shark tooth hunt.

Jeff Gilarde was helping his friends set up their tent on the beach when he discovered the pearly whites. He was digging sand to put into an anchor bag when he felt the choppers.

“I went to start digging with my hands and I felt something and I said oh that’s a big clamshell. When I brought it up, it wasn’t a clamshell,” Gilarde explained.

Jeff Gilarde discovered a set of dentures in the sand on Nokomis Beach
Jeff Gilarde discovered a set of dentures in the sand on Nokomis Beach(WWSB)

Rather he had discovered someone’s dentures! They were buried in just under a foot in the sand.

Gilarde said, “I was like, what, and then I started laughing because my friend Cathy had said we’re going to look for some teeth today, meaning shark teeth not this kind of teeth!”

After a bit of shock and a few minutes of well-deserved laughs, reality set in that someone was missing their teeth. Gilarde and his friends took the teeth to a lifeguard stand near the North Jetty in hopes that someone would come and claim them.

Later, Jeff’s friend Cathy LaBella, a Suncoast resident, decided to take to Facebook in the hopes that someone would recognize the set. Her post has nearly 2,000 likes and more than 200 comments. Though there have been a few hits, no one has quite claimed the teeth just yet.

Kathy and her friends have learned from this experience and the post-- there’s more than one set of pearly whites out in our waters.

“Oh, you know, we thought this was like one in a million. Like how often do you find dentures at the beach, but through the posts and things that we we’ve seen it’s not that uncommon,” LaBella explained.

“Someone posted that their father lost two sets of teeth in at the beach and I asked how does that happen? She said he just got hit by a big wave and lost the balance and I guess the teeth just came out,” LaBella explained.

ABC 7 stopped by that lifeguard stand to follow up on the fate of those dentures. We were told they were no longer there, and most likely relocated to the concession stand. So far, no one has called or claimed the teeth.

If you are missing your dentures, or know someone who lost them on the beach near Nokomis and North Jetty, contact the local lifeguard stand.

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