There are many toothpastes on the market that claim to whiten teeth. Make sure that any toothpaste you are using contains the necessary ingredients to actually clean your teeth as well. Ingredients such as fluoride that fight plaque and tartar are key to avoiding cavities.
Most whitening toothpastes alone do not contain much in the way of whitening ingredients and likely will not change the color of your teeth.
It is easy to be lured by advertisements that tell people they need to have whiter teeth. However, it is important to understand that most whitening products that can be readily purchased from your local grocery store contain very little chemical ingredients and thus really only remove surface stains. If you think your teeth aren't white enough, you should consult your dentist. Your dentist can offer you professional treatment, which will be tailored specifically to your unique needs and will work better than anything you can purchase over-the-counter.
Note that over-the-counter whitening products frequently contain bleaching agents that can cause significant damage to your gums and mouth. Always follow the instructions found on the product you buy before use.
How effective are whitening toothpastes?
Most whitening toothpastes that are found in the general toothpaste section of your local stores contain polishing and/or mild chemical agents that provide stain removal. Whitening toothpastes will only help to remove surface stains.
Over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide that helps remove stains on the tooth surface as well as stains deep in the tooth.
Note that none of these products can come close to producing the bleaching effect you get from your dentist's office through chair-side bleaching or power bleaching.
Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth's color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in your dentist's office can make your teeth anywhere from 3 to 8 shades lighter.