When you take a quick look at the toothpaste section in any drug store or supermarket, it can be overwhelming. There are literally hundreds of different products to choose from. Essentially they all do the same thing- clean your teeth. The majority of these toothpastes are labelled as "whitening" toothpastes. The problem for shoppers is that there is no real way to compare products. Saying that toothpastes can whiten your teeth is similar to saying that vegetables can improve your health. The main reason that the manufacturers put the word "whitening" on their products is that they find they sell more toothpaste. Everyone wants whiter teeth. In reality, very few "whitening" toothpastes do anything more than simply remove surface stains, which I personally find misleading.
All true dental whitening products contain a form of peroxide. Therefore, when patients ask me which toothpaste to buy to truly whiten their teeth, I tell them try ones with peroxide in them. Most of the big brands, such as Crest or Colgate, make toothpastes with peroxide (sometimes in conjunction with baking soda). Rembrandt makes a toothpaste called Deeply White (with peroxide) that works well. As with most any healthcare product, I would recommend sticking with brand names, and avoid any toothpastes that can only be ordered over the internet.
However, even the best whitening toothpastes will only provide modest results. For more profound results, a professional tooth whitening treatment ("bleaching") may be the better way to go. We can always answer any of your questions at your next visit.