While they seem to indicate the same thing, they are different. Whitening refers to removal of surface stain–thus the teeth are “whiter”. Beaching refers to a chemical oxidation of stains inside the tooth. Bleaching will make teeth whiter than normal, while whitening toothpastes will only allow the teeth to obtain their natural shade. I am not in favor of whitening tooth pastes. They are too abrasive for most people and can wear away gum tissue as well as cause sensitivity on the softer root structure on aggressive brushers.