Although whitening toothpaste might seem like the best solution it is important to know that they are helpful to remove only the stains from your teeth and do not change the natural tooth color. If the discoloration is due to an extensive use of coffee, cigarette etc then you might be able to see visible changes with regular use, however if the discoloration has run deeper then you might have to use other whitening techniques.
Knowing about the different products used and the ingredients used may help you decide the treatment which best suits your needs
Immediate appearance: like mentioned above, if the discoloration is because of permanent habits then a whitening toothpaste could do the magic, however this takes about four to six weeks of permanent use. If you want a temporary effect than you could use toothpastes with blue covarin, which helps create optical illusion.
Long term whitening results: whitening toothpastes are designed for regular application at least twice a week and hence you will not get immediate results. The use of whitening toothpastes has a long lasting effect because of the abrasives they use. These help in polishing the teeth and breaking down the chemicals.
Things to consider when buying a product: it is important to make sure you are using a safe toothpaste. Products that have a seal from any dental association in your country have usually undergone an evaluation and hence me be safe and effective. Something that is important to note is that bleaching products do not come without any side effects. You may also experience tooth sensitivity at times however, the seal is a demonstration of high quality and reliability. While these abrasives scrub away the surface stains however they may also remove the teeth enamel.
Other bleaching products: whitening toothpastes are very different from over the counter bleaching products that are usually found. Though most toothpaste do have a bleaching agent however it is removed from the teeth instantly and hence does not affect the tooth. For the bleach to be effective it has to stay in contact with the teeth for a longer period of time. If you want to lighten the overall color and do not want to focus on the stains only then a bleaching kit is definitely a better option.
Professional whitening alternatives: the best way is to contact your dentist and ask which whitening method is suitable for your teeth.