-they were brushing
The word cepillaban is the imperfect form of cepillar in the third person plural.
See the full cepillar conjugation


Por lo que se ve, hace años que no se cepillaban los dientes, y mucho menos visitaban al dentista.
From the looks of it, it's been years since they've seen a toothbrush, let alone a dentist.
Tenían la población de poco miedo, a la que basicamente le dieron una presentación de 13 minutos, todo basado en la ciencia, pero les dijeron que, si no se cepillaban lo dientes, les podría dar gingivitis.
They had a low-fear population, where they basically gave them a 13-minute presentation, all based in science, but told them that, if you didn't brush and floss your teeth, you could get gum disease.
De niños se lavaban el pelo con pasta de dientes y se cepillaban los dientes con champú. Sus padres no les enseñaron nada sobre el cuidado personal.
As children they washed their hair with toothpaste and brushed their teeth with shampoo. Their parents didn't teach them anything about personal care.
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